The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is funding research to develop a wearable opioid overdose detection patch, HealthDay reports. The patch would be able to deliver the opioid overdose antidote naloxone.
Indiana University researchers received a $3.8 million grant from NIDA to develop the patch, which would contain sensors to track a person’s pulse, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels. The patch would be designed to detect an imminent opioid overdose before blood oxygen levels dropped to dangerously low levels.
Once the patch sensed an oncoming overdose, hundreds of microneedles lining the inside of the patch filled with naloxone would be deployed. The researchers hope to have the patch ready for human trials in three years.
“Its automatic detection of respiratory depression and administration of naloxone is significant, as it potentially eliminates the need to have another person present equipped with naloxone who knows what to do,” said Pat Aussem, associate vice president of consumer clinical content development at Partnership to End Addiction.