- Video of Blueface teaching Obama lookalike to dance is turning heads Wednesday 5:58 PM
- ‘No one has the range’ for this meme Wednesday 5:21 PM
- Mom confronts man who followed daughter through grocery store in viral video Wednesday 5:05 PM
- Major study linking vaping to heart attacks gets retracted Wednesday 4:36 PM
- George Zimmerman is suing Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren Wednesday 2:55 PM
- Netflix’s ‘Horse Girl’ accused of ripping off 2017 indie film Wednesday 2:52 PM
- The Genyus Network is a safe social space for stroke survivors Wednesday 2:20 PM
- MAGA hat-wearing dog finishes last in ‘Today Show’ fan vote—still named winner Wednesday 2:03 PM
- Reddit users share stories of the worst things guests have done in their homes Wednesday 1:25 PM
- WikiLeaks lawyer says Trump offered Assange a pardon—if he’d deny Russian hack Wednesday 1:16 PM
- 6-year-old placed in psychiatric facility for ‘trantrum’ is seen acting calm in body cam footage Wednesday 1:05 PM
- Amy Klobuchar devouring Ivanka Trump is the 2020 vore crossover no one wanted Wednesday 12:32 PM
- Review: Hulu’s ‘Devs’ is a brilliant work of near-future science fiction Wednesday 11:53 AM
- Rapper Pop Smoke dead at 20 Wednesday 11:42 AM
- KSI says he will back Team YouTube if Logan Paul fights Antonio Brown Wednesday 11:29 AM
The FDA wants an anti-overdose app for heroin and opioid users
The agency is holding a competition for an app that connects drug users to life-saving medications.
On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new competition for an app designed to cut down on the number of deaths due to opioid overdose.
Officials intend for the app to link people who are overdosing (or those around them) to the nearest clinics that provide naloxone, the only approved drug that blocks opioid receptors to prevent a person from overdosing.
“The goal of this competition is to develop a low-cost, scalable, crowd-sourced mobile application that addresses this issue of accessibility,” said Peter Lurie, the associate commissioner for public health strategy and analysis at the FDA, in a statement. The winner of the competition will be decided by a panel of judges from several government agencies and will receive a $40,000 prize.
The agency hopes that an app like this can provide an important service while the country is in the throes of an opioid epidemic. In 2014, 2 million people were addicted to opioids, either by abusing prescription painkillers or by seeking out illegal drugs like heroin or illegally manufactured fentanyl. That same year, more than 47,000 people died of accidental overdose; the number of people who overdosed on prescription drugs quadrupled between 1999 and 2014. The opioid epidemic is getting more attention from public health officials; in June, President Obama allocated $1.1 billion to fight it, including increased funding to make naloxone more available to first responders. It’s too early to tell if those initiatives are cutting down on the number of deaths from opioid overdoses.
Of course, there are already several other apps intended to help users. Some educate those close to them about the signs of an overdose; others go further, sending a text to an emergency contactif a user needs help. The FDA hopes that this app will be different by helping drug users more directly, giving them greater access to the drug that can stop overdose deaths.
Potential app users might be wary of a government-funded app that tracks their location. The FDA hopes to circumvent this by making privacy a priority. There are a few lines about it the competition’s list of requirements: “During all phases of app development, all entrants should consider strategies to minimize legal risk and maximize regulatory compliance, including for the developer and the end-user. To ensure adequate consideration of potential liability, privacy, and regulatory concerns, FDA strongly encourages all entrants to obtain independent legal counsel.”
Registration for the competition opens Friday and closes October 7. The FDA will host a code-a-thon for entrants on October 19 and 20. Final submissions are due November 7.
This story originally appeared on Vocativ and has been republished with permission.