FDA launches app competition to help fight heroin overdose

The US Food and Biologic Administration appear a claiming to the tech wizards of Silicon Valley this week: body an app to action opioid overdoses. The 2016 Naloxone App Competition will run from Friday through November 7, and all submissions are welcome. The FDA envisions an app that will affix anyone experiencing an opioid balance with the abutting accumulation of naloxone, a changeabout drug. Naloxone counteracts the furnishings of heroin, some addictive painkillers and the constructed opioid fentanyl and is accessible at pharmacies with a prescription. It is generally agitated by medical and law administration aboriginal responders in best states as able-bodied as at-risk opioid users and ancestors members. The app is advised to active these antitoxin carriers back addition overdoses. In one accessible book appropriate by Associate Commissioner Dr. Peter Lurie, a beholder who sees addition who has overdosed could use the app to acquisition actual naloxone for the victim. Minutes amount in overdoses, Lurie said. Often, balance deaths appear not because of a abridgement of naloxone but because of a abridgement of access. Lurie explained that although abounding bodies backpack the antitoxin on a circadian base — families and accompany of opioid users, for archetype — naloxone generally goes bare for months, and the biologic eventually expires. This is a waste, Lurie says, because how abounding overdoses it could accept reversed. With a affecting admission in the cardinal of opioid balance deaths in the US, there s a basic charge to accouter the ability of new technologies to bound and finer articulation individuals experiencing an balance … with addition who carries and can administrate the life-saving medication, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said in the announcement. There has absolutely been an admission in fatalities: In 2014, the best contempo abstracts available, opioids were amenable for 28,647 balance deaths, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That accounts for 61% of all biologic balance deaths that year. We appetite to ensure naloxone is actuality acclimated as calmly as possible, Lurie said. Overdoses usually appear aural a community, and we charge to booty advantage of the bodies adjacent who are accustomed the antidote. The ambition for the app is to accord accumulation to the demand. The app may accommodated addition demand: a way to acquaint adolescent ancestors about balance prevention. Dr. Sharon Stancliff, medical administrator of balance blockage and biologic analysis at the Harm Reduction Coalition in New York, says the app may ability an ambiguous population. It can be difficult for barter to accept how to admission naloxone at pharmacies, said Stancliff, who educates the accessible on opioid balance prevention. Younger people, in particular, don t anticipate about pharmacies as generally as earlier people. In the accompaniment of New York, for example, Stancliff said, there were almost 8,000 badge admiral accustomed naloxone in the accomplished year, and over 50% of overdoses appear were amid bodies beneath the age of 29. Not alone is this age accumulation beneath acceptable to appointment pharmacies, Stancliff suggests; it may additionally be added anxious about privacy. Because opioids are illegal, abounding bodies don t appetite to airing into a pharmacy and adjustment naloxone. Some bodies don t alike apperceive what [naloxone] is, Stancliff said. With an app, you can be clandestine and still be informed. Though the app architecture is accessible to the maker s interpretation, Lurie says it could resemble article like PulsePoint, an app appear in 2011 that alerts CPR-certified volunteers back somebody adjacent is in cardiac arrest. Creativity will absolutely be accepted in judging; the acceptable creators will booty home $40,000 to abide developing their product. The FDA is additionally accommodating with the federal Baby Business Innovation Research affairs to hopefully kick-start the winner s aggregation already the challenge is decided. As for any apropos about the app, Lurie said, Our worries about technology are small, because the programmers apperceive what they re doing. There may be some GPS issues, abnormally in vertical space. For instance, bodies in cities who alive in multifloor barrio may be adamantine to locate. Ultimately, the app has to be bankable for it to work, Lurie said. The basal line, and hope, is that a challenge to advance this abstraction puts added minds alive against a solution.

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