To do things differently. To reimagine access to care and change the way at-risk individuals receive treatment, services, and support.
A world where at-risk and vulnerable populations have the tools and resources needed for barrier-free access to healthcare services and support.
To foster a culture of empathy, acknowledging the pain and emotions of others, coupled with compassion that drives us to take action and make a positive difference.
TryCycle Origin Story
The story behind TryCycle started over 15 years ago. In 2008, our now co-founder and CEO John MacBeth devoted two years to a pilot project with Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. The project explored gaps in the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure in remote nursing stations. Having personally visited over 20 First Nations communities across Western Canada during this period, John was deeply embarrassed and ashamed by the lack of public knowledge about the living conditions, limited resources available and inadequate support that existed for many Indigenous communities.
“It left a scar. I was horrified. And when your eyes are opened like that, it affects you one of two ways. You carry on, or you make a personal commitment to change for the rest of your life.” – John MacBeth
This experience inspired John to deepen his knowledge and pursue a Masters from Carleton University’s School of Indigenous Studies, while also being a successful business owner and entrepreneur in the space of video conferencing solutions. John continued his learning path and went on to complete a second master’s program, this time in the state of Connecticut. It was then that John met Ken House, co-founder of TryCycle in 2013, a fellow student in the same Master’s program. By 2015, the opioid crisis in America was at a crucial point, affecting the entire country. This crisis, known as the “third wave,” involved a rise in opioid overdoses, addiction, and deaths. John and Ken watched the devasting impacts unfold before their eyes. The opioid crisis was transcending demographics, affecting people from all walks of life. It was during this period that John and Ken made the decision that something had to change. People were dying. People in treatment for substance use disorders, were relapsing and dying by overdose. It felt like a hopeless cycle with more questions than answers. Researchers pointed to several contributing factors to the opioid crisis, including social isolation, addiction treatment interruption, and stronger synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
The two men made a commitment to take action. They spoke with clinicians, therapists, and addiction medicine specialists to learn more. Their hypothesis became clear: the ongoing high relapse rate wasn’t because of a lack of care or compassion from the clinicians, but rather a lack of meaningful connections. They decided it was time to “try” and break the “cycle” of addiction treatment as it was. And, so they did… For years following, John and a team of executives (his now leadership team) researched and consulted with clinicians in the field of substance use treatment, addictions, mental health, relapse, and recovery. By understanding how behavioural health treatment works today, they were able to imagine a solution for tomorrow. TryCycle Data Systems was officially incorporated in 2017 and by February 2018 the first iteration of the TetherAll (formerly TryCycle) digital health platform was launched. Its purpose was to help clinicians identify clients at risk sooner, while creating ongoing, personalized connections, toward fostering greater compassion. The ultimate goal was to enhance treatment retention, engagement, and connection.
“The support we’ve received has never wavered, largely because there is so much empathy and compassion.”– John MacBeth
The philosophy has remained: to lead with a human element, and not the technology, where the commitment to truly understand and connect with clients is what matters most. TryCycle now takes the same approach of connection in clinical care and applies it to serve at-risk and vulnerable populations, like Indigenous and veterans.
The journey continues…