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20 December
Novel digital therapeutic for managing opioid addiction
By APAH Team

Novel digital therapeutic for managing opioid addiction

The United States of America is reeling under a serious opioid epidemic and under such circumstances, every new initiative matters. One of the latest developments in this regard is the introduction of a novel digital therapeutic device which helps support abstinence and treatment retention in people struggling with opioid use disorder (OUD). Christened reSET-O™, the device was developed be Pear Therapeutics, Inc. It has recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is used concomitantly with counseling and buprenorphine.

Yuri Maricich, MD, chief medical officer, Pear Therapeutics shared that this is like a digital prescription device which is used to provide counseling and contingency management through a mobile software in concurrence with the standard outpatient care. Since time immemorial small molecules are being used as drugs which was followed by the development of complex biologicals paving the way for cell and gene-based innovations and now this present innovation is digital, said Maricich. The device was tested through a randomized control trial and the results were presented at the 29th annual meeting of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) in December 2018.

Distinct and novel therapeutic

Maricich shared that the idea behind the development of this device was to code therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy, basis feedback from patients. Meanwhile, an integrative research is being done so that the coding uses similar standards as those used in the softwares of insulin pumps and implantable defibrillators.

reSET-O is basically a digital prescription with an imbedded software. Once prescribed by a physician, it can be downloaded from Google play store or the Apple app store. The patient is provided with an access code, which when fed to the software, activates it for 90 days.

The patient is required to follow the instructions of contingency management and CBT as outlined in the app. They would receive positive affirmations in the form of motivational messages and gift cards upon negative urine screening. Maricich shared that though buprenorphine can effectively manage OUD, not many people have access to good quality medical care and besides the rate of attrition is also high. This device could be used to bridge these gaps.

Study design

The study population comprised of 170 patients which were divide into two groups of 85 each. The first group received standard treatment with buprenorphine, 30 minutes of counseling every alternate week and contingency management based on urine screen held thrice a week. This entire procedure was performed for a period of 12 weeks.

The second group received the same treatment plus reSET-O. Considerably higher odds of abstinence were found in the control group as compared to the usual group from weeks 9 to week 12. It was also observed that when reSET-O was incorporated into the traditional treatment plan, the retention rates improved.

Dr. Carla Marienfeld, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, said that this study talked about two important parameters, namely, retention and increased abstinence. She further added that improvement in these two parameters can lead to better reach so that more and more people who do not have access to such treatment modalities can be helped.

Road to recovery

Addiction of any kind can be a scourge. It can lead to life-changing circumstances that affect not only the individual, but also their family, friends, colleagues and anyone associated with them. In order to reverse the negative outcomes and protect oneself from the effects of this menace, it is important that one takes appropriate treatment from a credible prescription drug abuse treatment center in Arizona.

If you or your loved one is battling an addiction to opioids or any other drugs, contact the Arizona Prescription Abuse Helpline for assistance. We can connect you with some of the best prescription drug abuse treatment clinics in Arizona. Call at our 24-hour Arizona prescription abuse helpline 866-692-3563 or chat online with one of our trained experts to know more about the best treatment programs available for immediate respite.

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