FDA Launches Competition to Build Heroin Overdose App


The United States Food and Drug Administration has launched a challenge this week that will begin on Friday, September 23 and end on October 7, 2016. The competition welcomes all submissions and aims to help opioid overdose victims and their families. The FDA wants the app to be able to connect users with the nearest supply of naloxone.

Naloxone is a drug that is able to reverse an overdose, saving many lives in the process.

The FDA aims for people to be able to receive Naloxone in an effort to save lives during an epidemic of opioid overdoses. The competition is part of the FDA’s Opioids Action Plan.

The SAMHSA suggests that 2 million Americans are dependent on opioids – prescription opioids are only included in this statistic. Statistics show that overdoses from all opioids has increased by 300% since 1999, with 28,000 people dying from opioid overdoses in 2014 alone.

Naloxone is a prescription drug, but many states have taken action to make the drug accessible to first responders. Family and friends of opioid users and organizations have also gained access to the drug under the guidance of some states. The competition wants to be able to provide further access to Naloxone to people who aren’t carrying it when an overdose occurs.

All of the code entered during the competition will be made open-source, and there will be a 2-day event held at the FDA campus. Virtual attendance is also available.

Participants will be able to build a functional prototype of their app and submit it in video form. The desired app will be completed on November 7, 2016.

The winner of the competition will be granted $40,000 for their app.

People interested in the event will be able to further follow the competition using the hashtag #NaloxoneApp. After the competition, coders will be able to apply for grants provided by the NIDA Small Business Research. The grant will allow for apps to be further developed.