Launch of TAD™ Device Adds Technology to the Mix of Solutions Battling Opioid Crisis
ATLANTA (March 28, 2016) – A pioneering breakthrough in medical device technology called TAD™, for “Take As Directed,” will be introduced at this month’s National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit March 28 – 31. The availability of TAD™ to the prescription marketplace brings technological innovation into the ongoing policy discussions surrounding opioid adherence and abuse prevention, as the device successfully eliminates access to all medications at once while at the same time barring access to the medication by anyone other than the patient to whom it was prescribed.
“Prescription drug abuse is now at a boiling point, having recently replaced auto accidents as the leading cause of injury-related death in the U.S., and a host of policy and education initiatives are being brought to the table to address the problem, including a $1 billion federal investment,” said Sam Zamarripa, President and Director of Intent Solutions, inventors of the TAD™ device. “But there’s been little talk of how emerging technology can improve the way medications are managed and dispensed while also reducing misuse, abuse and diversion,” Zamarripa noted.
TAD™ is built around a portable dispenser containing a disposable vial filled with medication attached to a reusable electronic device, pre-programmed with the prescribed regimen and patient biometric. The device notifies the patient that it’s time to take the pill, scans their fingerprint, delivers the pill, and records the data. The data is sent to the Smart Device APP, and then to the cloud database for analysis. Adherence and other critical data are sent back to the APP. And while there are other prescription drug adherence devices on the market, TAD™ uniquely improves the quantity and quality of data through automation and real-time reporting, improving overall adherence and enhancing safety. This capability reduces the high costs associated with non- adherence while improving patient health and overall household well-being.
“Congress is reviewing a number of policy initiatives designed to fight prescription opioid abuse which destroys families and costs the healthcare industry millions of dollars,” said Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA -01), who is incidentally the only pharmacist serving in Congress. “Clearly it’s time for technological innovation to be part of the discussion and I look forward to learning more about the solutions that devices and cloud-based technologies bring to this critical problem.”
TAD™ will be launched at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit, held later this month in Atlanta, featuring experts from government, business, academia, healthcare, and advocacy. The Summit represents the largest collaboration of national thought leaders who are working daily to reduce the prescription drug abuse that feeds directly into heroin use. Dr. David Gastfriend, a presenter at the Summit and Scientific Advisor at the Treatment Research Institute (TRI), enthusiastically endorses the role of technology in attacking the crisis head on. “Education initiatives share vital information and statistics but fall short in offering solutions. We know prescription opioids lead to heroin abuse, addiction and death but we must add technological innovation to the conversation,” urges Dr. Gastfriend. “We need to be able to monitor and prevent abuse in real time. We need home safety options for those who have been prescribed opioids. And health professionals need feedback on whether the pills they’ve prescribed are being taken in the right amount, at the right time and by the right person. Policies that foster these technological innovations are badly needed," Gastfriend concludes.
In addition to its launch at the Summit in late March, the company is currently collaborating with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and will enter TAD™ into an NIH funded clinical trial in April of this year.
“We believe the latest CDC guidelines are a very important step toward reducing the risks associated with opioids, but when I think about how technology has changed just in my lifetime, it feels like we are dramatically behind the curve when it comes to investigating the role of innovation in battling opioid abuse and its connection to heroin addiction,” noted Zamarripa. “Child safety caps and tamper-proof packaging were introduced back in the seventies and eighties, and ‘Buckle Up for Safety’ is now not just a social norm but a law in many states. We have a long way to go to fully address the crisis we’re facing, but the CDC’s announcement is a solid first step. Let’s now find a role for tech in this discussion.”