RethinkFirst: Re-imagining the future of healthcare with RethinkFirst
Daniel Etra, CEO, RethinkFirst

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RethinkFirst: Re-imagining the future of healthcare with RethinkFirst

Daniel Etra is the CEO of RethinkFirst, an industry-leading global behavioral health technology company focused on the cloud-based delivery of clinical best practice treatment tools, training and support for neurodiverse individuals (including those with developmental disabilities such as autism) and their caregivers. Rethink’s award-winning online program is used by Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies such as the US Department of Defense, public school districts, behavioral health providers, managed care organizations and families worldwide.

Daniel’s expertise in strategic, financial, management and operational experience has helped him carve a niche in his industry. He enjoys founding and building companies, especially those with a social impact. Listen to him speak about his passion towards setting up the Company and much more in this interview. Excerpts:

Founding of RethinkFirst

Observes Daniel, “We saw the explosion in the number of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and the significant dearth of trained professionals – Board Certified Behavioral Therapists – available to deliver clinical best practice treatment (there are only approximately 30,000 such clinicians worldwide).”  He adds that this market problem affects all entities that revolve around the care of a child with autism, from families to school districts to social service agencies to corporate Employee Benefit plans, which are all seeking ways to deliver treatment in an effective, affordable and ultimately scalable manner. This was the primary reason why RethinkFirst was founded.

Healthcare – Challenges galore

Daniel cites some of the biggest challenges they face as working with some of the large national health plans and the slow pace at which they are willing to proceed with partnerships and deploy innovations into the marketplace.  This applies across the healthcare landscape.  “Accordingly, we would like to see the large managed care organizations become more willing to explore new innovative approaches/technology via pilots and to deploy those pilots in a more rapid fashion. “

RethinkFirst’s platform – Key features

Rethink determined that the only way to deliver clinical best practice treatment in a scalable way was to leverage technology to train whoever was caring for the individual with the developmental disability how to deliver the treatment.  This would impact all the entities revolving around the care of this population, including in the school, in the home, and in the healthcare system. Rethink offers the industry leading platform for managing students with a special need as well as supporting the mental health of all students and staff, serving large to small public school districts nationwide. In addition, Rethink offers the industry-leading practice management platform for behavioral health providers specializing in individuals with autism and related disorders.  Rethink also offers the industry-leading training and support platform for employees caring for dependents with a developmental disability and for neurodiverse employees in the workplace, as well as mental health support for those caregivers.  Rethink’s clients range from employers with under 1000 employees to over 500,000 employees, and across its book of business Rethink covers over 7 million lives. “Lastly, Rethink provides the only AI data-driven solution for ABA treatment management in the payor market.”

Leadership traits

“My leadership style is non-hierarchical, and example based.  I try to always be accessible to my team and communicate priorities by example and encouragement.  I also try to let my team take ownership of tasks and reach decisions on their own but am not afraid to step as necessary. The journey of a leader is one filled with obstacles and failures along the way.  One must not let these setbacks stop the pursuit of one’s vision and one must have the grit and perseverance to drive accomplishing one’s goals.”

A word of advice for young entrepreneur

“Surround yourself with colleagues who are smarter than you are, embrace diversity, don’t let obstacles or moments of failure stop you, and maintain grit to succeed.  In addition, be mindful that when working with major health plans, progress can be slow, and it often takes years to build relationships with payors and generate sufficient data to prove to payors that your product is worthwhile to purchase.”

RethinkFirst – Forging ahead

“One of the emerging trends in healthcare technology today is Big Data and the use of AI to give medical professionals valuable insight into how best to treat their patients.” Adds Daniel that in today’s world, there is no way to accurately predict the outcomes of interventions among individuals with developmental disabilities.  Rethink is helping address this issue by gathering the largest data set of outcomes associated with this population, a data set that is starting to be used to develop the right treatment protocols and facilitate the predictability of outcomes.  “Rethink can already predict the outcome of a patient with an autism diagnosis using proprietary AI-driven algorithms and these algorithms will one day be used in a similar fashion for other behavioral health conditions.”

Daniel Etra, CEO

Company: RethinkFirst


Management: Daniel Etra, CEO

Founded Year: 2007

Headquarters: New York, NY

Description: RethinkFirst is a global health technology company providing cloud-based treatment tools, training and clinical support

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