COLUMBUS -- New technology to combat the opioid crisis is one step closer to saving lives, according to TechOhio. On Tuesday, four innovative solutions - ready for the open market and to make a difference in communities - were given a big boost with a $1 million prize each.
The life-changing technology resulted from the state of Ohio’s call for help to address the opioid problem from every angle. Deemed the winners of the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge, the four companies were awarded $1 million to keep advancing the ideas and technology with the goal of combating a national health crisis and keeping people safe and healthy.
“Great ideas can come from a lot of places, and we’re putting them to good use here in Ohio to battle drug abuse and addiction,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Economic Development.
Hundreds of submissions poured in from around the world and 12 companies were awarded funding in 2018 to continue developing their technology. Now, four of those companies have been named winners of the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge and were each awarded an additional $1 million. The winning companies are:
Brave – Smart button technology installed in the home of a person struggling with addiction or opioid use. When activated, the quarter-sized button immediately sends support or emergency services to someone in danger of overdosing.
DynamiCare – A comprehensive system to help those in addiction recovery with an app to track their progress, a smart debit card that rewards healthy choices and video calls with a dedicated recovery coach.
Prapela – High-tech mattresses that use strategic vibrations to gently soothe babies born addicted to opioids, while also regulating their breathing and heart rates.
University Hospitals – A technology platform that helps determine if a patient should leave the hospital with an opioid prescription, and if so, whether they are at risk for addiction. Patients are connected to resources near their home to help them safely transition home. The program has already kept more than 12,000 opioid pills out of northeast Ohio communities.
“Ohio is advancing the most promising technologies and bringing these life-saving solutions to market as quickly as possible,” Mihalik said. “It’s important for us to take an all-hands-on-deck approach, and that includes innovation to seek out solutions that will eventually solve this problem that we all share.”