emocha Mobile Health, a Baltimore-based startup company focused on medication adherence, today announced that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research award by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Through the NIH Fast-Track mechanism, the Phase 1 award will total $225,000, with an additional $1.5 million for Phase 2 granted upon achieving milestones. The project will demonstrate the feasibility of video directly observed therapy for patients undergoing the initiation phase of buprenorphine treatment through office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) programs. Outcomes of interest will include adherence, retention in care, measures of illicit opioid use and abstinence, and medication diversion.
Directly observed therapy (DOT), the practice of observing a patient ingest every dose of medication, is the worldwide standard of care in tuberculosis (TB) and methadone maintenance treatment. While DOT can be resource-intensive, it is the gold standard for securing adherence in TB.
What an elegant, simple solution! Now for the next problem. $$. Who will pay for the time it takes to review the video to ensure that somebody put the medication in their mouth and kept the video running for several minutes and used the medication appropriately? Suboxone/Buprenorphine DOES have a “street value”. If nothing else, it ends withdrawal symptoms abruptly, stops cravings and stays on the receptor with a 30 hour half-life. This is the solution to a current problem.
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