(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – As the death toll from the national opioid problem rises, Ohio has taken the lead in the search for solutions—turning to technology for innovative ideas. The state put out the call through the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge and received hundreds of responses from average citizens, scientists and healthcare professionals across Ohio, the U.S. and nine countries around the world.
“This is a problem we’re all facing, and only Ohio said, ‘Anyone with a technology solution, bring us your ideas,’” said David Goodman, Director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “A good idea can come from anywhere. We wanted to give everyone the opportunity to present their solutions so that we can find new ways to address this very difficult issue and hopefully save lives.”
Among the top five ideas is a neurofeedback program that examines brain activity to help those recovering from addiction. “We can show someone what is happening in a certain part of their brain and then use visualization tools and games to suppress or amplify that activity. This helps them control cravings and prevent a relapse,” said Kelly Cashion of the University of Dayton Research Institute who’s researching neurofeedback.
Cashion’s idea was one of five that rose to the top of the list in the idea phase of the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge. The others include an addiction assessment app that would identify patients who are at higher risk for opioid abuse, an augmented reality system that helps patients rehab from injury without pain medication, a mindfulness-based smoking cessation therapy adapted for opioid addiction and a virtual reality program to prevent addiction in teens and young adults.
“We’re hoping that these ideas become the solutions for tomorrow,” said Goodman. “Making advancements in technology is one more way to ensure we leave no stone unturned.”