New Wearable Device Detects Overdose Of Opioid And Reverses It

Dec, 2021 - By SMI

New Wearable Device Detects Overdose Of Opioid And Reverses It

Scientists developed a stomach-worn wearable naloxone injector device that senses the overdose of opioid and reverses it by injecting naloxone to restore respiration.

Overdose of non-medical opioids may lead to respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, and even death when the person is left untreated, and the opioid toxicity is reversed with the use of naloxone by restoring respiration. However, in the events of unwitnessed opioid overdose, administering naloxone is essential to save the life of an individual, and to provide technological solution for this, a group of researchers from University of Washington developed a wearable device that detects and reverses an overdose of opioid. The device can be worn on the stomach similar to an insulin pump. It senses the breathing and movement of a person and depending on it, the device injects naloxone.

The team of scientists developed algorithms integrated in the wearable injecting system in order to detect the breathing and movement affected by overdose of an opioid and then automatically inject naloxone in the body. In collaboration with West Pharmaceutical Services of Exton, the team worked on the prototype of the device. The West Pharmaceutical developed a subcutaneous injecting wearable device that safely administers medications. The team them combined the system with sensors and the algorithms. To test the device, the researchers recruited 25 subjects with opioid-use disorder.

Furthermore, the sensors in the device accurately tracked respiration rates in the subjects and the device detected non-medical, opioid induced apnea, which is a breathing pattern that commonly leads to lethal overdose. In the second study, after simulating the overdose events in 20 participants, it was observed that the wearable device successfully detected the overdose activity and it injected naloxone into the subject. Further studies showed that the device would be able to deliver the antidote in the body, which shows its efficiency to reverse the overdose of opioid. The team now requires the approval of FDA, to make the device available in the market.

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