Huron County represented in the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge

By JOHNNA YOUNG
Fisher-Titus Medical Center

NORWALK – Fisher-Titus Medical Center, FI Community Housing, Inc./Huron County Peer Recovery Community Center, and software developer Dharma.ai have joined forces to battle drug abuse and addiction using technology.

The team has developed an innovative mobile app called No-Wrong-Door Placement Accelerator and is entering it into world-wide competition through the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge. This multi-phase, prize-based competition seeks technology-based solutions to address or improve opioid abuse prevention, treatment and overdose avoidance and response.

“In Ohio, 85 percent of people suffering from drug dependence or misuse do not have access to the care they need,” said Katie Chieda, senior vice president of clinical services at Fisher-Titus Medical Center. 

“This startling statistic, along with Ohio ranking among the top five states in the nation for addiction-related problems, prompted this unique idea for a technology-based solution.”

During the challenge’s first phase, the “Idea Phase,” researchers, caregivers, providers and citizens across Ohio, the nation and the world submitted hundreds of ideas for addressing the opioid epidemic. The second “Challenge Phase” launched in February with the focus on accelerating the development of technology-based solutions in four areas: diagnosis, prevention, connection and protection.

The No-Wrong-Door Placement Accelerator addresses the “connection” component by using data management and mobile technology to improve treatment by connecting those struggling with addiction to the right facility as quickly as possible.

And, according to Michael Pack, director, Huron County Peer Recovery Community Center, time is critical in the fight against addiction.

“Within minutes of wanting help and not finding it, addicts may seek out another hit to feed their addiction,” said Pack.

The No-Wrong-Door app will allow health care and recovery support organizations to easily identify real-time resources to find current bed availability, available services, payer information, operating hours, transportation resources and other critical information to accelerate acceptance and placement.

“Dharma.ai is founded on the idea that good data can save lives,” said Stefan Nagey, CEO of Dharma.ai. “Better data can mean the difference between recovery and remission and Dharma.ai is thrilled to engage in this partnership to connect health care and recovery providers with the No-Wrong-Door Placement Accelerator.”

As the submission process is being finalized, the team is focusing on building the recovery network by populating the app with specific placement information from accredited providers. The team is asking providers to enter their information into the application now to allow demonstrations of the app during the scoring and project evaluation by the judges.

“We believe this mobile application can empower collaboration and partnership between many dedicated health care and recovery providers across a large regional footprint to truly impact outcomes by improving access to critical resources,” added Chieda.

If there are providers who would like to learn more about the No-Wrong-Door Placement Accelerator and how to submit their information, contact Katie Chieda at Fisher-Titus Medical Center by calling 419-668-8101.

Up to 12 prize recipients will be announced in September making them eligible to compete in the final phase of the program, the Product Phase, to further develop their technology for launch in the market. 

Johnnna Young is senior public relations specialist at Fisher-Titus Medical Center, 272 Benedict Ave., Norwalk, 419-660-2696, jyoung@ftmc.com.