Carrot was founded by Dr. Utley who is an inventor on more than 65 issued U.S. patents. The company aims to engage and empower individuals to cease smoking and to this end mobile technology and behavioural science is used alongside clinical expertise in their Pivot approach. A recent partnership announcement with RedBrick Health (a company
similarly looking to improve health within organisations using behaviour design, health and technology awareness, data analytics and consumer engagement) described Carrot's potential to help employers avoid the excess healthcare costs and lost productivity associated with smoking.
The Pivot system is described in this announcement as attaining enrolment rates that are "several times" the national average for employer-delivered cessation programs. The program involves an FDA-cleared carbon monoxide breath sensor system, smartphone app, human coaching, and a particular approach to behavioural science with the process starting not with smoking cessation but with learning. Altogether constituting a methodology viewed as quite different to that of phone or classroom -based programs.
Carrot defines six stages of smoking cessation with Pivot, each with a it's own duration or duration range. To start there is explore (to increase awareness), followed by build (to motivate and prepare), mobilize (to commit to the process), quit (or quit attempt, approaching quitting as a skill), secure (coping with challenges) and finally sustain.
New funding to the extent of $25 million has involved JJDC, New York Life Ventures and current investors Khosla Ventures, Marc Benioff, Carrot founder David S. Utley, M.D., and R7 Partners according to October's announcement where note is also made that estimated cost (by the WHO) of smoking in terms of in healthcare costs and lost productivity is $1.4 trillion.
Carrot’s mission, as described here is "to save millions of lives by delivering a smoking cessation solution that can scale to the 40 million people in the U.S.—and 1 billion globally—who smoke".
Tim Del Bello, Director of Investments at New York Life Ventures commented here that “Carrot is a strong example of those companies that are driving exciting innovations at the intersection of digital health and life insurance,” and “These technologies have the potential to play a meaningful role in the future of the life insurance industry.”