How Emerging Tech Is Helping To Battle Global Opioid Dependence

How Emerging Tech Is Helping To Battle Global Opioid Dependence


Can tech help fight worldwide opioid dependence? Find out the role of emerging tech in the war against global opioid abuse here!

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Did you know drug abuse costs the US one trillion dollars every year?

Are you wondering how emerging tech can help folks with opioid dependence? Not to worry! In this article, we’ll go over some of the ways tech battles opioid addiction.

Want to learn more? Keep reading to find out. 

Opioid Dependence and Emerging Technology

Physicians prescribe opioids to relieve chronic or severe pain. A physician prescribes opioids for sports injuries or surgery. You might get a prescription for chronic backaches or headaches. Learn more info about opioids. 

Let’s look at how technological innovations are helping battle addiction. Healthcare is the next big technology revolution.

USC Machine Learning 

A computer scientist, Yan Liu, has expertise in machine learning. She is the director of the USC Machine Learning Center. The research team collaborated with the Mayo Health Clinic for this project. 

Researchers claim they developed algorithms to help predict opioid dependency. They looked at every patient’s medical history. The researchers went over the patient’s prescription history.

They also checked out diagnoses of related disorders, like anxiety or alcohol disorders. The team classified users in three categories, short term, long term, and opioid users.

Liu hopes to use medical history as a guide. This guide could help a doctor identify opioid dependency before prescribing opioids.

It could save someone who is at high risk for opioid dependence. Liu hopes to bring tools to the market and combat addiction. 

Triggr Health and Machine Learning 

Triggr Health started in 2014 in Chicago. Its platform uses machine learning to predict relapses and target prevention strategies.

The algorithms track smartphone activity and data. It tracks phone location, sleep history patterns and texting patterns. This history’s included with a client drug history.

Clients get referred to use the Triggr platform by their healthcare provider. A client could download this app for a fee of around two dollars a day.

Triggr provides 24/7 support to clients. If a client reaches a peak level, the addiction team’s notified. The company maintains the privacy of phone data. They claim only to have access to general information.

The company says its platform can predict regressive behavior days before it happens. They believe it’s more effective than traditional treatment strategies.

The platform’s marketed to healthcare providers. Clients get referred to the platform. The company hopes to expand its app in the future.


This is an emerging startup aimed at helping past users avoid relapsing. They use machine learning prediction algorithms like Triggr Health. The main difference is the integration of wearable technology. This piece looks like FitBit. 

They use software that takes real-time data from wearable devices. This device can detect heart rate variability, skin temperature, and heart rate. This is all related to stress levels. The data’s combined with GPS location.

As physiology and behavior changes, the software can screen if someone’s craving. When someone’s craving, they could relapse before a traditional intervention occurs.

Want to Learn More?

We hope you found this article on opioid dependence insightful. There are new apps and research underway to help those struggling with addiction.

Want to learn more? Check out how to use technology to get advice on mental health.


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