The Pivot origin story

Text Transcript with Description of Visuals

At Carrot, our mission statement is that “we want to save lives.” How do you save literally millions of lives?

David S. Utley, MD, Founder, President and CEO speaks

And the first thing you have to do is understand how smoking impacts people. And in the United  States, there’s 500,000 people that die every year of smoking-related illness.

So on the doors of our offices, there are photos of three 747 jumbo jets, just to put it into perspective the number of people that die every day in the United States of smoking-related illness would fill three 747 jumbo jets. Three.

Every day. If you consider the worldwide impact, it’s 50 jets a day. Totally preventable.

Smoking-related illness is totally preventable. How? Help people quit smoking.

Smoking in the United States has been put on the back burner. We don’t even think there’s that many people that smoke anymore, and that’s because smokers are asked to smoke 50 yards from every building. They’re not allowed to smoke inside office buildings, theaters, hospitals.

Video of people smoking in public

There’s 40 million people that smoke in the United States though. That’s one out of six adults, and there’s 500,000 people dying every year. So at Carrot, our mission is to bring that to that to  the forefront and say that doesn’t have to happen.

Carrot Mission Statement: To engage and empower millions of people to quit smoking

Going through a career as an academic surgeon and treating people with cancers related to smoking and then working in the medical device industry came to the epiphany that we could do something about smoking that had never been done before.

I realized that some of the best strategies for helping people quit are really quite effective, but nobody knows how to get to them and while they’re effective they’re not that fun and they’re not very engaging.

I figured we could actually make good practices for helping somebody quit smoking fun and engaging and maybe something that all smokers would want to at least try. We know that they work, we just have to get people to use them.

And 10 years ago there wouldn’t have been an ability to do this because there was no smartphones in everyone’s pocket, there was no Bluetooth-enabled gadgets that could you know work with the smart phone, you couldn’t deliver coaching through a phone to millions of people.  So this project wasn’t possible, but it was there. I mean, there was this opportunity to do it, it  just wasn’t enabled.

But now, you know putting together a technology that measures the amount of carbon monoxide in somebody’s body, which is related to how much they smoke, we’ve done that.

Video of a person using the Pivot breath sensor to measure their carbon monoxide level with instructions “Breath Slowly into the sensor”

And putting this amazing human-centered design app together that people really want to use to help them learn about their smoking and then actually quit, we’ve done that.

Video of Pivot app with interactive activities to help users measure impact of CO and quit smoking

And then using, or putting in a tobacco treatment, specialty trained human coaches in the app to help the user, wow that’s like really amazing.

Video of Pivot smoking cessation coach using a computer

And so rather than helping one or two people at a time in a clinic or on a quit line, could we actually help millions of people at a time quit?

Like yeah that’s scale, like that’s how you impact this public health crisis of smoking.

You need to attack this problem that’s killing half a million people every year in the U.S. with all  the resources you can.

And that’s what we built in Pivot.