McLean’s Dawn Sugarman Introduces De-Risking Digital Development Panel (TIPS 2018)

These remarks were part of the 2018 Technology in Psychiatry Summit, an event sponsored by the McLean Institute for Technology in Psychiatry, which occurred November 1-2, 2018 at Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Part of panel discussion, De-Risking Digital Development: Unpacking the Innovation Pipeline in Substance Use Disorder Treatment.

Despite the potential for “digital therapeutics” to transform the treatment landscape in behavioral health, the path through the digital development process is complex and evolving—from identifying a problem or need, to innovating a potential set of solutions, to finding the one that will scale effectively, to gaining regulatory approval, to creating a product or service, each of which is fraught with potential risk for those performing the work, but also for their funders and the pipeline for future treatments. In this session, our speakers unpack each of these stages, focusing on the area of substance use.

Dawn Sugarman, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in the Division of Alcohol, Drugs, and Addiction at McLean Hospital. Dr. Sugarman’s research and clinical work focuses on gender-specific treatments for addictive behaviors, and the use of technology in effective treatment dissemination. As a member of the team that won the Partners’ Connected Health Innovation Challenge in 2017, she is working on developing a digital adaptation of an evidence-based treatment for individuals with co-occurring substance use and mood disorders. Dr. Sugarman also serves as the communications editor for the Harvard Review of Psychiatry.

Please visit to learn more about the McLean Institute for Technology in Psychiatry.