Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

Mobile App for Opioid Addiction to Support Patient Detoxification



To help support patients undergoing opioid detoxification, researchers at Boston University School of Public Health are developing a multifunctional smartphone app.

Share this!

February 8, 2017 | by Sarah Hand, M.Sc.

While drugs like buprenorphine are very effective at helping to treat opioid addiction, some patients can become dependent on their prescribed treatment, making it difficult for them to ever fully stop using the medication. To help support patients undergoing opioid detoxification, researchers at Boston University School of Public Health are developing a multifunctional smartphone app.

Approximately 1.5 million Americans seek help for their opioid addictions each year, some of whom enroll in a treatment program to overcome heroin or prescription opioid abuse. While treatment options can help these patients discontinue opioid use, few resources exist for those in recovery who wish to come off buprenorphine and other opioid alternatives.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded Dr. Michael Stein, of the Health Law, Policy & Management department at Boston University, and his colleagues at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), a $414,000 grant to help develop the app. To help patients manage their detoxification symptoms, the app – named OFFBup – will provide educational and self-monitoring tools.

Patients who have been taking buprenorphine or methadone for long periods of time may benefit from the app’s detoxification timeline, which explains the symptoms of withdrawal and when they can occur. The app’s tracking tool could also keep patients motivated by allowing them to see their progress in the detoxification process.

The research team plans to work with patients who are discontinuing buprenorphine use to develop the app within the first year of the NIH’s two-year grant. Their goal is to get the app into the hands of patients at Butler Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, in the second year of the project.

According to Stein, the app will be “a resource that patients can access anytime and anywhere. Buprenorphine is an effective treatment, but at a certain point—either out of personal preference, because they no longer want to take a medication, or necessity, because they can't afford it—treatment comes to an end. Because we know there are significant side effects to stopping buprenorphine, we think OFFBup will help people get through these and remain drug-free.”

Keywords: App, Opioids, Addiction


Share this with your colleagues!

Exclusion Criteria for Clinical Trials Poses Major Barrier to Patient Enrollment

August 17, 2017 - UT Southwestern researchers say that clinical investigators continue to increase the number of exclusion criteria, preventing more patients from participating in clinical trials.

Featured In: Clinical Trials News

Targeting Cellular Nitrogen Metabolism Could Offer a New Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer

August 17, 2017 - An enzyme involved in regulating the amount of nitrogen in the cell could be a new drug target for pancreatic cancer, according to researchers from Boston Children's Hospital and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Featured In: Life Science News

Regeneron’s Drug for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Fails in Phase III Clinical Trial

August 16, 2017 - Biotechnology company Regeneron has announced it will not continue development of its antibody drug, suptavumab, after a failure in a Phase III clinical trial.

Featured In: Clinical Trials News


One Patient’s Perspective on Clinical Trials


Planning and Conducting Trials of the Latest Immunotherapies

ISO 13485:2016 for Medical Device Manufacturers: Ensuring a Smooth Transition through Effective Preparation

Medical Devices: Reviewing Regulatory Changes in the US and EU

Moving Beyond Regulatory and Performance Metrics in Starting Clinical Trials

Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.