STOP OVERDOSE NOW is developing a suite of mobile tools to combat the opioid overdose epidemic that will empower people who use drugs to take action within their own community and when they travel.
The OD Buster app connects people in need of help with an overdose with naloxone carrying volunteers in the vicinity, in real-time, using GPS, Wi-Fi and other data technology.
The app’s core function is to alert volunteers when there is an overdose in progress nearby. When someone is overdosing, the app will alert nearby volunteers and direct them to the person’s location to provide this life-saving treatment. Volunteers will typically arrive before the ambulance/medics, and those extra minutes are the difference between life and death.
At this point, we are testing the first prototype of the software, which includes its core functions. Pending funding, the app will be further developed, piloted and evaluated with partners in three EU cities, starting in the fall of 2019.
Updates will include direct communication functions, e.g. chat, phone; news and information sections, e.g. prescription and street drug fact sheets, including medical, harm reduction and legal information; links to (area-based) harm reduction services and treatment resources. We are furthermore working on wearable devices, for monitoring motion and vital signs that will be networked with OD Buster, allowing for automated overdose emergency alerts.
FenChecker is a novel three-stage cascade approach to drug checking and monitoring. The mobile platform makes intelligent use of current drug testing technologies and mobile phone technology, and combines the test results with spatiotemporal, contextual and experiential data into in a common framework for real-time epidemiological monitoring and response, aimed at early detection and reporting of fentanyl, its analogs and, eventually, other high risk NPS.
The FenChecker app collects data from fentanyl urine test strips used by PWUD when preparing drugs for injection or when tested at Overdose Prevention Programs. App users can upload the results of test strips used, sample descriptions, pictures and ‘consumer reports’ on fentanyl tainted drugs. The app reports the outcomes of these tests back into the PWUD community in (near) real-time. App users can check whether fentanyl has been reported in their environment on color-coded ‘heatmaps’, allowing people to take better informed decisions on the drugs they take, as well as links to life-saving information on overdose prevention and (area-based) harm reduction services and treatment resources. The first prototype of FenChecker is planned in the fall of 2019.
Both apps will furthermore generate important data for research, drug services and policy makers tasked with overdose prevention and result in more efficient use of available resources. Their algorithms will help forecast where overdose services are most needed. An online dashboard will be developed for frontline overdose prevention organizations.
The apps and their backbone data infrastructure are built to the highest standards of privacy and data security (e.g. the EU GDPR). All personal information will be stored in encrypted files. Only anonymized and ‘fuzzed’ data will be used for research purposes. Data will never be shared with law enforcement.
In response to the increasing globalization of the overdose crisis, we are building the Stop Overdose Now Network (SONNET), in collaboration with our international partners.
This global platform aims to link people who use drugs with (peer) volunteers carrying naloxone and needed services, whether people are in their homestead or traveling elsewhere. It will connect local overdose prevention initiatives into one global network aimed at building competence and information sharing.