Opioid Crisis: FDA Aims To Launch Yelp-Like App To Prevent And Reduce Overdose Cases

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will launch a Yelp-like app. FDA shared that the new technology will help prevent and reduce opioid overdose cases.

The 2016 Naloxone App Competition

FDA has recently unveiled the 2016 Naloxone App Competition. This program was developed under the America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science) Reauthorization Act of 2010.

They will recruit computer programmers, public health advocates, clinical researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators from all disciplines. The FDA will host a two-day code-a-thon virtually on Oct. 19-20. The codes will be open-source. According to the Fox News, the registration for the competition is from Sept. 23 to Oct. 7.

These people will create apps that would aid in the nationwide opioid abuse epidemic. It is part of the FDA's Opioids action Plan and the US Department of Health and Human Services' Opioid Initiative.

Judges will include those from the FDA, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAHMSA).

FDA's Dr. Peter Laurie the mobile application will provide accessibility. It will be low-cost, scalable and crowd-sourced. He revealed that there have been mobile applications developed.

However, these only educate laypersons on how to recognize an overdose and administer naloxone. They also connect bystanders with individuals who need medical services. But there is still no application available to connect carriers of naloxone with opioid overdose victims.

According to the Washington Post, the app will be like Yelp. The person gets a naloxone instead of a Chinese takeout. Naloxone helps reverse an overdose.

Opioid Crisis In The US

28,000 Americans had died of opioid overdose in 2014. This is according to the SAHMSA. Those who were dependent on opioid is numbered to about 2 million.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf have explained the crisis. He said that it is costing the US thousands of lives a year. He admitted that they need technological solutions.

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