An eastern Kentucky tech company, Bit Source, has created an app to help quickly connect potential opioid overdose victims to responders with Narcan.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the mean time for EMS response in rural areas of America is 14.5 minutes. In some rural areas of Kentucky, EMS response time can be 4 times the national mean, with wait times of over an hour. This delay in the delivery of Narcan to potential overdose victims may contribute to the number of opioid deaths, which reached 18.7 per 100,000 last year.
In 2016 the MIT Hack-a-thon in Somerset set out to create digital solutions to tackle some of the most significant health challenges in Appalachia. Bit Source collaborated on the idea of a mobile app that would connect potential opioid overdose victims to responders with Narcan, in many cases much more quickly than the usual 911 response time.
Two years of research, development, and testing resulted in ODSave, an app now available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. A pilot project is being launched now in Pike County, building a network of responders who are supplied with Narcan and are trained to use it. The next step will be to encourage downloads of the app by the general public, who may become requesters in the event they witness a potential overdose.
With assistance and cooperation from organizations like Pike County Emergency Management, local volunteer fire departments and rescue squads, the University of Pikeville, and Pikeville Medical Center; Bit Source intends to launch ODSave in Pike County first, but the potential for its use is unlimited. With geo-fencing, the app can be customized for use in a broad geographic area or isolated to an area as small as a hospital campus.
For more information about ODSave, visit www.odsave.com, or contact Cindy Johnson at 606-794-0716.