The opioid addiction epidemic crosses all demographic groups and all geographic regions in the U.S. according to the CDC. Exploring interventions in any form to help stem and hopefully reverse this deadly tide, public and private agencies, universities, and companies worldwide try prevention through education, addiction treatments, medication, and numerous support programs. We’ve written about the NSS-2 Bridge wearable that blocks opioid withdrawal pain, Brigham and Women’s Hospital ‘s ingestible opioid monitor, Epharmix’s text messaging app designed to avoid relapses, and more. As is often the case when behavioral and medical factors overlap, no single solution will work for everyone.
Data Cubed’s ResQ app focuses on two aspects of support to help addicts in recovery avoid relapses: the addicts themselves and those who want to help them. According to Data Cubed, people in support roles often don’t know how to be effective in helping people in recovery. Individuals in recovery most often don’t know how best to engage with their support network. The ResQ mobile app focuses on helping people in recovery get the type of support they need when they need it. According to Data cubed, ResQ is based on two sets of clinically validated data: activities that predict the use of opioids and evidence-backed support techniques. Depending on the user’s current status inputs, ResQ suggests one of several gamified activities in the app; responding to the patient’s current condition is the first line of support. Second, individuals registered in the app as being members of the user’s support network are prompted to provide appropriate support. The app also informs all parties both of warning signs and of the user’s achievements.
ResQ’s two-sided approach to addiction recovery support gives both addicts and their supporters the bonus of knowing that the other people involved have bought-in to the model, helping everyone gain strength through community. It also is another illustration of digital medicine, where the use of a smartphone app is intended to have therapeutic value.