The opioid addiction epidemic hasn’t paused while the COVID-19 pandemic runs rampant. We’ve written about a variety of tech developments that target addiction. Among the many weapons in the growing treatment arsenal, we wrote about a clinical trial run by the Rockefeller Neuroscience institute to explore fighting opioid addiction with deep brain stimulation. The Minnesota Department of Health reported last year on a telehealth program with success in patients reduce controlled substance prescriptions. Graduate students at Carnegie Mellon’s Institute for Software Research developed a prototype wristband with a pulse oximetry sensor and Bluetooth wireless transceiver that monitors blood oxygen levels to detect opioid overdoses.

In a recent move to add to the available resources, Winnebago Industries’ Special Vehicles division collaborated with the Boston-based Kraft Center for Community Health to outfit a mobile medical clinic designed specifically to combat opioid addiction. The mobile clinic program called Community Care in Reach currently rotates between four sites in three Boston Neighborhoods to provide accessible, on-demand care in areas with high fatality rates from opioid overdoses.

The Community Care in Reach vehicle is built on a Ford Transit truck platform. The vehicle has a small waiting room, an examination room, and the equipment needed to perform in the capacity of a licensed satellite clinic. Clinical staff from Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and the Boston Public Health Commission’s AHOPE program participate in staffing the vehicle.

The Community Care in Reach vehicle was first deployed in January 2018. So far the mobile clinic has made about 10,000 contacts and had almost 1,400 patient encounters, 75% of which are patient follow-up visits. In addition, the Community Care in Reach team has distributed nearly 3,000 naloxone overdose-reversing kits to people dealing with opioid addiction.

Healthcare professionals have enlisted many tools and technologies in the fight against opioid addiction. In the case of Community Care in Reach, the enabling technology is a vehicle that takes the care staff and equipment directly to the physical areas where the fatalities often occur. This vehicle’s regular presence reduces a major barrier for people who need access to its life-saving services.