Ohio announces $1 million prize recipients of the Ohio opioid technology challenge

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

UH Care Continues program developed by UH Ventures one of the recipients

Ohio is committed to finding new solutions in the battle against drug abuse and addiction. The opioid epidemic is creating devastating human, social and economic impacts, with Ohio and the Midwest being particularly hard. In an effort to save lives, over the past year innovators from around the world have been working to advance new technologies to help solve this global problem as participants in the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge. The last phase of the competition invited the 12 finalists (previously announced) to compete for additional funding to refine and cultivate their revolutionary ideas and technologies into products for market entry targeted at solving this critical issue facing our society.

Today, the top four most impactful solutions were each awarded a $1,000,000 prize. They are: Brave Technology Coop (Vancouver, B.C., Canada); DynamiCare Health (Boston, Massachusetts); Prapela (Concord, Massachusetts); and University Hospitals (UH) (Cleveland, Ohio).

"As our state and country continue to battle the opioid epidemic, Ohio is dedicated to advancing bold, creative, innovative technologies that attack this devastating issue head-on," said Lydia L. Mihalik, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency and chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission.

The Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge launched in October of 2017 with an $8 million commitment to advance new ideas in the battle against opioid drug abuse and addiction. Companies have been competing in the Challenge, a partnership between the Ohio Third Frontier and global science and technology network NineSigma, building and expanding their ideas along the way. In September 2018, 12 finalists were awarded $200,000 to further develop their innovations, with today's $1 million prize winners chosen from among that group.

University Hospitals (UH) (Cleveland, Ohio)
The team at University Hospitals has developed an app, UH Care Continues, intended to prevent abuse and addiction, and overdoses related to opioids. The app streamlines workflows and interventions to ensure that care is provided at the right time, place and cost, creating a "safety net" as patients transition from hospitals back into their communities. The hospital makes its network of resources available to patients' needs. Since its introduction, University Hospitals estimates that it has kept 12,000 opioid pills out of the community in eight months.

By the end of 2019, a new Ohio company will be formed to support the commercialization of UH Care Continues. UH is also working with Bush Consulting, its Ohio-based partner, to replicate the immediate impact on the opioid crisis they've been able to achieve within the UH health system to other Ohio-based health systems and hospitals.

Video:  https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-08/m-oa082619.php

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