State Going High Tech in Opioid Battle

Inside INdiana Business is reporting an Indiana healthcare tech company is bringing artificial intelligence and machine learning to the battle against the opioid epidemic. Indianapolis-based has unveiled its Opioid Dashboard, designed to organize data that was previously disconnected and use it to fight opioid abuse and addiction. Saying “you can’t manage what you can’t measure,” Chief Executive Officer Brad Bostic adds the platform can help government agencies and healthcare providers determine what programs are working, and develop new initiatives to predict opioid abuse.

hc1 says the epidemic is causing a death toll exceeding the equivalent of six 747 passenger jets crashing each month. In November, the 2018 Indiana University Kelley School of Business economic forecast pegged the annual economic cost of the opioid epidemic in Indiana between $1.25-$1.8 billion. President Donald Trump has declared the epidemic a national public health emergency.

Bostic says, “instead of waiting for a hurricane to hit you,” the dashboard lets government agencies, healthcare providers, pharmacies and others be proactive in their efforts. He says the dashboard offers a “live view” into drugs that are being used throughout the United States, and correlates data on drug usage patterns and their adverse effects. Bostic says that delivers the insight providers need to see how well current efforts are working and develop future strategies.

Indiana has beefed up its efforts to fight the epidemic as well. Governor Eric Holcomb, in his first hours in office, signed an executive order establishing a position aimed at battling the issue. Former Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana Chief Executive Officer Jim McClelland is serving as the state’s first executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement. New Indiana State Health Commissioner Kristina Box has also said opioids are among her top priorities.