Company of Armenian researcher tries to solve problem of opioid overdose in US

October 24, 2019  16:25

A researcher from the United States is working on a device that will warn the patients against using unnecessary opioids. In the US at least there’s approximately 200 people dying every day from opioid overdose or from general drug overdose. So this means approximately 75,000 people a year are dying, and these are people aged from 20 to 50.

Ashot Papoyan, Co-founder and CEO of Elm Tree Research, says addiction and opioid use have become a big problem in the US, and his company is trying to come up with the solutions to the problem.

“The device will be collecting vital signs from the patients when they are outside of the clinic and send it and combine it with other data that is coming from the clinic or applications. When putting all together, the AI- based algorithm will calculate if a particular change in vital signs is associated with a drug use and alert the doctors or the loved ones that something is happening,” he told Medicine during the Global Innovation Forum.

The device to be either worn on a waist or a patch that will monitor in real time the physiological that happen when a person is using narcotics. At first, the company is planning to use commercially available devices, such as iWatch or Android System watches, or a device can be used as a patch that one can put on a body.

“So, our product is actually the algorithm, the software. We are hoping to have it ready for the first trials within six months,” Papoyan added.

The researcher says the opioid epidemic usually starts with legal pharmaceutical painkillers. It’s very difficult to get when exactly just taking a little bit of painkillers slowly moves and becomes an addiction.

“So, a device like this will help the patient themselves monitor and learn that you don’t need these extra few pills you are taking right now, and it will alert the doctor, alert the patient, because no one becomes addicted overnight. It takes time,” he said.

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