Innovators Win Acceleration Support and Seed Funding for Solution to Curb Opioid Epidemic in New York
Staten Island, Borough President James Oddo joined with the Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) at Massachusetts General Hospital, the State of New York, Northwell Health, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering to host Demo Day, the last leg of the Empire State Opioid Epidemic Innovation Challenge at Columbia University.
As part of Demo Day in February, six teams—composed of engineers, data experts, social workers, clinicians, and other professionals—competed in front of a cross-disciplinary panel of expert judges for a grand prize of $10,000 and six months of acceleration support through the CAMTech Accelerator Program (CAP) for their innovation. The winner was Team Quick Reversal for their innovation of a nasal patch that dispenses Narcan to prevent opioid overdose. The runner up was Team Recover- We for their innovation of a search engine chat platform to link individuals to local prevention, treatment, and opioid recovery programs.
“The goal of this Empire State Opioid Epidemic Innovation Challenge was to have talented individuals work together to create solutions to address the local and national opioid crisis,” said Borough President James Oddo. “I’m pleased to see we have accomplished this goal. It’s a pleasure to do such important work with the Governor’s Office, NYS OASAS, Northwell Health, Columbia University’s Public Health and Engineering Schools, and CAMTech. I am looking forward to applying the best and most creative solutions from Demo Day to address the opioid epidemic on Staten Island.”
The Empire State Opioid Epidemic Innovation Challenge served as an open-innovation platform for a diverse community to co-create solutions that would have the potential to change the trajectory of the local and national opioid crisis. The idea for the challenge came from the BP’s Policy Team, who learned about a successful opioid “Hack- A-Thon” hosted by CAMTech in Boston in 2016. The Borough President’s office reached out to CAMTech and collaborated with them to create a similar event in New York City.
Demo Day served as a competition for teams to show progress made 90 days after first formulating their solutions at the Challenge Summit and Solutions Sprint in September 2018. All 12 teams that formed during the Solutions Sprint were eligible to compete at Demo Day.
At the Solutions Sprint, four teams received seed funding and three months of acceleration support leading up to Demo Day: Team Random Access Network (RAN) with the innovation to link individuals with certified peer advocates to meet patients at hospitals and treatment recovery centers; Team Recover-We for innovating a search engine chat to link individuals with prevention, treatment, and opioid recovery programs; Team Quick Reversal for innovating a nasal patch that dispenses Narcan to prevent opioid overdose; and Team Addiction Recovery Kit (ARK) for innovating a kit that aggregates existing prevention, treatment, and recovery tools for hospitals, needle exchanges, detox centers, and rehab facilities.