While the federal authorities and think tanks are working hard to bring the opioid crisis in the United States under control, researchers, service providers, and individuals are also doing their bit in contributing towards this task, with their innovations and inventions. In this context, a global technology challenge was organized in Ohio, for which hundreds of ideas were submitted from across the U.S.
Five ideas emerged as winners at the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge, worth $8 million. The goal is to help prevent and even treat addictions and overdoses with new approaches and technology solutions to combat the national health threat.
The challenge leveraged $8 million of a commitment of $20 million for advancement in new ideas in the battle against drug abuse and addiction. Spearheaded by Ohio Governor John R. Kasich, the winning ideas of the challenge, ranging from virtual reality, neural feedback and digital therapy, would be a part of the next phase. “Whether you’re a medical or healthcare expert, or simply a concerned citizen, we are calling on everyone to be part of the solution,” said Director David Goodman, chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission. Ohio is spending $1 billion annually, in attacking the opioid problem from every direction. This includes prevention, education, treatment and recovery, and law enforcement.
The multi-phase design of the challenge means an escalation in the prize money associated with progressive levels of solution development. The first phase was the idea phase which concluded recently, had plenty of creative ideas presented by the participants. The second phase is the challenge phase and will run from February through July, 2018, and will search for expertise from within the business and innovation community. The final stage will have the winners getting fund to turn their promising ideas into products of use in the marketplace.
Following are the ideas that won in the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge:
Digital Therapy: Proposed by Judson Brewer from Worcester, Massachusetts, the idea centered on the psychological theory of mindfulness. He further extends the concept to his nationally known ‘Craving to Quit’ program for opioid addiction.
Augmented reality-based interactive coaching system: Explored by Yong Pei and the team of Kinematechs (a company that covers Motion analysis technology, based in Cincinnati, Ohio), the idea is based on using motion tracking to customize a surgical patient’s physical rehabilitation routine once he arrives home from the hospital. It will reduce the demand for opioid painkillers.
Opioid risk assessment screening app: Aimed at enabling medical professionals to identify and flag patients with risk factors of opioid abuse and provide such patients with alternatives to opioids for fighting pain. The idea was presented by Lee Barrus from Oren, Utah.
Virtual reality technology: Presented by Edification Project, the innovation has been designed to use virtual reality technology focused on preventing addiction in teens and young adults, framing attitudes early to prevent opioid abuse. The organization is a social venture start-up based in Boston, Massachusetts and focuses on health outcomes of adolescents through the proposed technology.
Neuro-feedback application: Developed by a software engineer Kelly Cashion at the University of Dayton Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio, the application will use sensors to provide real-time information to patients about their brain activity, thereby enabling them to gain control of their activities.
Road to recovery
The trend of frequent prescription writing, sharing of prescription and ingesting opioids for non-medical purposes has contributed significantly in the untamed growth of opioid crisis in the nation. Opioid addiction is similar to any other addiction or abuse and therefore can be treated with thorough medical treatment. A complete recovery from addiction can be achieved through medication, therapies or a combination of both and the course of treatment can only be decided by a medical practitioner, based on the medical diagnosis.
Therefore, if you or loved ones is suffering from opioid addiction or experiencing the onset of the symptoms, you can seek immediate medical help from Rapid Detox Helpline. You can call our 24/7 helpline number 866-403-5591 or chat online with our experts to know about the detox treatment centers available near you.