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This high-tech manicure may reveal opioid overdoses

Photo credit: Carnegie Mellon University

Precocated opioids are the main health issue in the United States, but the new high-tech wristwatch can help doctors discover the warning signs of fatal reactions to painkillers.

A group of students from the Carnegie Mellon University have developed HopeBand, carry a wristwatch that may sound an alarm, constantly flashes and issue a warning for text messages to the carrier's location if it feels really low in blood oxygen, IEEE reported. With this high-tech wristband, a healthcare professional can administer medication to change overdose before it's too late.

"Imagine having a friend who always sees signs of an overdose; someone who understands your pattern of use and knows when to contact [someone] for help and make sure you get help, "Rashmi Kalkunte, a software engineering student at Carnegie Mellon University for IEEE, said," That's what the Hope is designed to do. "

Unlike other medical devices, HopeBand students at the Carnegie Mellon University are an inexpensive device for keeping track of the health of people on the go. With sponsorship from Pinney Associates, a pharmaceutical consulting firm, students moved forward with a clock-based solution that uses pulse oximetry as an overdose detector.

Pulso-oximetry sensors monitor blood oxygen levels with a very high-tech process. They illuminate the LED light through the skin and then detect changes in light absorption. If oxygen levels are low as a result of potentially overdosage, HopeBand estimates the warning sign for 10 seconds before playing an alarm.

Although HopeBand may be promising for an overdose, the team still needs to confirm that the device can detect warning signs of real people. Despite this challenge, the team used simulated inputs to put HopeBand on the test, and the results were positive.

After testing, the team plans to distribute free HopeBands to opioid users through local needle exchange programs. If this step of distribution is successful, the team can begin selling a commercialized version of HopeBand between $ 16 and $ 20 in the future.

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