Scientific Evidence is at the Heart of CHESS.

CHESS Health was co-founded by University of Wisconsin Professor David H. Gustafson, PhD, to bring to market the ACHESS smartphone app he had developed and validated in multiple clinical studies (see below). Today, CHESS’ eRecovery solution and its Connections App deliver the same innovative and proven ACHESS functionality, just under new names.

In 2018, CHESS Health expanded its offerings by partnering with Yale School of Medicine Professor Kathleen M. Carroll, PhD, to commercialize her innovative and clinically-validated online programs for patients to self-learn valuable cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) skills critical to sustained recovery, which, in her clinical trials and resulting publications, are known as computer-based training for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT4CBT). Today, CHESS’ eTherapy solution comprises Dr. Carroll’s CBT4CBT programs.

In total, CHESS’ technology for supporting the treatment and recovery from addiction have been the subject of more than ten randomized clinical trials with the important and positive findings the subject of dozens of publications.

Each year, CHESS’ technology is used by more researchers to study different use cases and implementations, ranging from use in a drug court program in Australia to the recovery of hospitalized inpatients suffering from endocarditis caused by severe opioid-related infection.

The Experts

David H. Gustafson, Ph.D.

Professor of Industrial Engineering and Preventive Medicine at the University of Wisconsin in Madison

Dave Gustafson directs the University of Wisconsin−Madison’s Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies (CHESS), which includes the national program office for the Network for Improvement of Addiction Treatment, and Center of Excellence on Active Aging Research (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality). His research interests focus on developing systems engineering tools to support sustainable individual and organizational improvement. HIs individual change research develops and tests computer systems to help people deal with significant issues affecting quality of life including addiction, cancer, and aging. He published over 270 reviewed publications including seven books.  Dave is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and Fellow of the Association for Health Services Research, the American Medical Informatics Association, the WK Kellogg Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which he co-founded and was board vice-chair.

In 2014, Dave co-founded CHESS Health (with Chris Wilkins) in order to make ACHESS, the smartphone app he had developed and clinically-validated, available to patients broadly.

Kathleen Carroll, Ph.D.

Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Kathleen M. Carroll served as the Principal Investigator of the Center for Psychotherapy Development at Yale, NIDA’s only Center devoted to behavioral therapy research, and from 1999 to 2020 she was the Principal Investigator of the New England Node of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Clinical Trials Network. Her research focused on the development and evaluation of behavioral treatment and combinations of behavioral therapies and pharmacotherapies to improve treatment outcomes for individuals with opioid use disorders. Dr. Carroll was an internationally recognized expert in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and developed CBT4CBT as a clinician extender tool when her research discovered the limitations of counselors in teaching CBT. Her studies of CBT4CBT resulted in dozens of peer-reviewed publications. In total, she was the author of over 300 peer-reviewed publications as well as numerous chapters and books.

If you’re interested in performing a clinical study with CHESS, or have research questions, please contact us at