Professor fights opioid epidemic with award-winning app

Talib Omer, MD, assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine and director of emergency ultrasound medical student elective at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, was part of a team of entrepreneurs working for California-based tech-startup PwrdBy that won a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) contest to develop an app that would help combat the opioid epidemic.

OD Help is an Uber-like service that would link enrolled carriers of Naloxone to people who are suffering an opioid overdose. Naloxone can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose, but only when administered quickly. It is estimated that Naloxone has reversed 26,000 overdoses between 1996 to 2014.

OD Help was unique from the more than 150 other registered teams and 45 contest submissions in that it uses an optional respiratory monitor to signal to Naloxone carriers and the opioid user’s preselected circle of friends or support persons if the individual might be overdosing. The team received $40,000 for winning the competition.

“Our team was honored to have won,” Omer said. “But more importantly, we are grateful and humbled to have this opportunity to help fight the opioid epidemic through technology and innovation.”

Watch the team’s submission video to see the app in action: https://youtu.be/wiiNvSLbUgo

By Mary Dacuma

By |Categories: Emergency Medicine, News|