Opioids Crisis

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Understanding How nGageIT Digital Medicine Can Help

The opioid crisis most likely is the most profound public health crisis our nation has faced. In 2015 alone, 52,000 people died of drug overdoses, with over 30,000 of those people dying from opioid drugs. Recent Findings show that the majority of opioid abusers begin their addiction with prescription medications, primarily for chronic pain. Chronic postoperative pain, which occurs in 10–50 percent of surgical patients, is a major concern in many types of surgery.

Nationwide, the medical community has made it a priority to ensure that postsurgical analgesia is sufficient to control pain without increasing non-medically appropriate opioid use. Numerous factors, including the inappropriate prescription of opioids, lack of understanding of the potential adverse effects of long-term therapy, opioid misuse, abuse, and dependence, have contributed to the current crisis.

Part of the opioid crisis can be attributed to the poor management with which oncologists, primary care physicians, dentists, surgeons, and emergency room physician’s direct opioid therapy in regards to continuing prescriptions in opioid dependent patients, and starting opioid therapy in patients who are opioid-naïve.

Despite the acute analgesic efficacy in taking opioids, numerous harmful effects have been associated with its administration. Opioid-associated adverse events have significantly impacted health care costs.  Analysis of 320,000 surgeries found that 12.2 percemt of patients with opioid-related adverse drug events had prolonged hospital stays (7.6 vs. 4.2 days) and greater costs ($22,000 vs. $17,000) relative to patients without opioid-related adverse drug events. Patients with reported opioid-related adverse drug events have been reported to have a 36% increased risk 30- day readmission, 55 percent prolonged hospitalization, increased risk of inpatient mortality by 3.4-fold, and 47 percent increased cost of care compared to patients who did not report opioid-related adverse drug events.

Patients on opioid therapy that is continued for 90 days or more are more likely to stay on chronic opioid therapy for years.

System Impact

The effects of the opioid epidemic are felt in all areas of the United States, especially in the health care industry.

  • Emergency department visits are mounting
  • Billions of dollars are spent on medical care for those addicted to opioids
  • Socioeconomic effects of this crisis contribute to o increasing depression, anxiety, missed days of work or school, unemployment, drop-out rates, and loss of productivity among those addicted to opioids
  • Socioeconomic effects of this crisis also adversely affecting families, leading to increased divorce rates, single parent families, and child abuse and neglect.

Provider Impact

Providers face an imperative to mediate patient pain following a complicated medical procedure. This is not only the humane thing to do, but is also essential for making sure the patient walks away from the care encounter satisfied. Reconciling the opioid epidemic, pain management, and patient satisfaction becomes even more complicated for providers treating patients with chronic pain.

  • Challenges with visibility to patient opioid taking behaviour
  • The risks of opioid dependence has called into question the use of opioid-based treatments for chronic pain
  • Healthcare professionals are currently observing friction between priorities for patient quality of life, positive patient experiences, and judicious opioid management
  • To reconcile conflicting agendas, healthcare professionals must understand the alternatives to opioid pain treatment, how to discuss alternatives with patients, and how to manage patients who still need an opioid medication
  • If a patient’s best course of treatment is an opioid, then tracking in real time the medication takin behaviours is imperative to identifying the point whereby appropriate use is turning into dependency and/or addiction

Patient Impact

11 percent of adults experience chronic pain, which can quickly become quality of life issue. Pain impacts the patient experience throughout their daily routines, and may limit participation in work, school, or social activities.

  • Patients who are on long-term opioid treatment plans run a higher risk of becoming dependent on an opioid, leading to addiction
  • Need for patient education
  • Need for good patient/practitioner communication


  • Significantly improve patient experiences through real-time point of care data, providing more relevant information to patients on their opioid usage and how to manage it”
  • Identify and understand the warning signs that lead to problematic usage and addiction
    Earlier identification of adverse drug events
  • Ability to immediately connect patients with supports they need as soon as they need them
  • Better program management and support with practitioner-engaged real-time adherence and dosage monitoring

Medication Verification

by managing Opioid patients through intelligent remote breath detection we can verify medication usage patterns and intervene in real-time before patients become dependent or addicted . By actively managing opioid use , we aim to reduce readmissions and optimize costs for at risk patient populations

Reduced Risks

decreased rates of serious adverse drug events, lowering 30-day emissions, and prolonged hospitalization, and inpatient mortality rates

Lower Addiction Rates

reduced addiction opportunities and rates through better direct patient support, real-time monitoring, and early intervention before drug dependencies evolve

Cost Savings

significant direct and supplementary cost savings from lower readmission rates and proactive, preventative care

Analytics & Insights

deeper identification and understanding of the common precursors of opioid addiction, including who is more prone based on what behaviours