Published On: Tue, Jan 1st, 2019

Opioid Overdose Detected by New High-Tech Wristband

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Students at the Carnegie Mellon University earns all the credit for developing the new high-tech wristband, called the Hope Band. The wearable can detect opioid overdose and will flash repeatedly and sound an alarm once an overdose is detected, while it also instantly issues a text message containing the location of the wearer once low blood oxygen levels are sensed. The Hope Bank also allows health care professionals to administer medication that could reverse the effects of overdose and save lives.

In the US, Opioid Overdose is A Major Health Risk

With the overdose of opioid being a major health risk in the US, the new high-tech Hope Band wearable could provide doctors with all they need to quickly detect the warning signs that could prevent fatal painkiller reactions.

The Hope Band is designed to provide help when an overdose is detected, the inexpensive device tracts your health on the go and is sponsored by the pharmaceutical firm, Pinney Associates. Its main task of the watch-style bank is to detect pulse oximetry; its sensors track the oxygen levels of the wearer’s blood. The process takes place via an LED light that shines through the skin to track absorption changes. Should the wearable senses low oxygen levels that could potentially be caused by overdose, it evaluates it for 10 seconds and then sends out an alarm.

Opioid Crises Increased via Three Dramatic Stages

The Opioid crises happened in different phases, the first was in 1991 when a sharp increase was detected in the prescribing of opioid as a painkiller, which is also when deaths involving this prescription drug increases. By 1999, over 86% of people using opioids were non-cancer patients and the prescription drug was used for non-cancer pain.

286% Increase in Drug-Related Deaths 2002 – 2013

By 2010, the second phase or more accurately the opioid epidemic took on a whole new level and there was a rapid increase in heroin abuse deaths. Opioid prescriptions decreased in an effort to make it harder for abusers to obtain, although the focus shifted to cheaper more available option, heroin mixed with the much more potent and totally illegal opioid version. The death rate due to heroin overdose from 2002 up to 2013 increase rapidly, by 286% and more than 80% of heroin users admitted that they also misused opioid as a prescription drug before switching to heroin.

The third stage of the opioid disaster started in 2013 and a massive increase in deaths directly related to fentanyl, a synthetic opioids drug took place. Yet the in 2016 the sharpest rise in deaths occurred when more than 20,000 fentanyl and other related drugs occurred. At the same time, users are at a much higher risk of Hepatitis C and B, Aids, HIV and other infections to the heart. Which is why the Hope Band could be one of the major breakthroughs in preventing drug-related deaths in the future. The wearable is still tested and not available yet.

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