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BC students developing opioid overdose detector

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Summary

UBC students developing wearable device

Device would connect people with naloxone kits with overdose cases

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A group of medical, engineering and design students at the University of British Columbia is working on technology for a device that could help save lives during the ongoing overdose crisis.

Biomedical engineering student Sampath Satti says the device would be worn on the wrist and sound an alarm when it detects a user is not breathing or moving so others can rush to administer the overdose-reversing drug naloxone.

“There are still a lot of deaths and the reason, we think, is that the people who have naloxone kits and are trained to use them are not coming in frequent contact with the people who need them. So then we started thinking about a device that could help connect people who have the kits and the people who need them.”

“We would ideally like this device to work together with other harm reduction measures. So that’s a kind of a goal… We definitely don’t want it to give false confidence that it will save you even if you use it alone.”

The students plans to use the device to collect more data at an overdose prevention site in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, starting next week.