Researchers develop wearable device to fight opioid overdoses

  • April 13, 2022

However, University of Washington researchers are hopeful that a wearable device could be a big help.  They have developed a wearable injector that’s worn on the stomach like an insulin pump.  Using algorithms, it senses when the wearer stops breathing and automatically injects a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose called, naloxone.

According to recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), fatal drug overdoses in the U-S soared to more than 93,000 in 2020.  If the overdoses can be identified and people resuscitated their chances of not dying and living long enough until help arrives is really high.

Researchers are excited following studies using the device on volunteers who manifested signs of apnea by holding their breath.  If the person stopped breathing and didn’t move for 15 seconds, the system activated an injector that administered the opioid antagonist.

While the device has yet to received FDA approval, it is a great potential first step to stop future overdose deaths.

REFERENCE:  Fox 10 News; 29 NOV 2021; Lenise Ligon

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