By Mariel Peralta , CP Contributor
September 23, 2016|1:28 am


Cincinnati battles heroin overdoses anew.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a mobile app challenge to stem the opioid epidemic in the US.

The FDA called the challenge "The 2016 Naloxone App Competition" and it is a public challenge issued to tech savvy individuals who can make mobile apps. The FDA hopes the mobile app will help those experiencing opioid overdose get their hands on naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of heroin, prescription painkillers and synthetic opioid products.

FDA's 2016 Naloxone App Competition Announcement, Details
FDA's 2016 Naloxone App Competition is a challenge supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

It is open to programmers, innovators, entrepreneurs, health advocates and researchers. According to the FDA in an announcement, the rising opioid epidemic and deaths in the US had them get an app that can give people access to the life-saving drug Naloxone.

The Washington Post reports that registration for the contest will be open on Sept. 23 to Oct. 7. There will be a coding event on the FDA campus in October 19 and 20 where participants will brainstorm on how to go about the naloxone app. The code for the app will be open-source and any kind of collaboration is accepted.

On Nov. 7, 2016, Naloxone App candidates will be submitted and looked over by a panel of judges from the FDA and governing bodies including NIDA and SAMHSA that support the competition. The grand winner will be receiving $40,000 for their app. More details can be found on the FDA's website.

Life-Saving Naloxone Helps Reverse Opioid Overdose
The naloxone drug can help reverse opioid overdose and reverse deaths, but sometimes, people close to victims or victims themselves often don't have access to the drug. Dr. Peter Lurie at the FDA stated that the 2016 Naloxone App Competition was designed to help create a mobile app that will help overdosing victims access to naloxone and other help they need like CPR.

Lurie adds that although people carry Naloxone with them, it is often unused or underutilized which can be a waste since it will eventually expire, CNN reports. The app will help connect opioid overdosing victims with individuals who have the antidote and help save their lives. Furthermore, an app they envision will solve the problem of privacy because some people who overdose on opioids are using illegal substances like fentanyl and heroin.