Published on December 28th, 2018 | by Emergent Enterprise


Wearable Sensor Can Detect Imminent Opioid Overdose

The low-cost device gives wearers the opportunity to administer life-saving drugs.

The number of drug overdose deaths in the US more than tripled between 1999 and 2016, with opioids accounting for the majority — in 2018, more than 115 people died from opioid overdose every day. Now, students from Carnegie Mellon University have created a wearable device that could alert the wearer to a possible overdose, giving them enough time to administer naloxone to reverse the situation.

The HopeBand flashes, emits an alarm and sends out a warning text message (which includes the wearer’s location) when it detects low blood oxygen levels via pulse oximetry sensors, which work by shining LED light through the skin and identifying light absorption. The device will monitor low oxygen levels for 10 seconds before sounding the alarm.

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