From Medical News Today: Study tests use of wristband sensors on emergency room patients receiving pain medication.
There is merit in looking at the use of wearable biosensors to detect whether opioid users stay focused on their rehabilitation programs. This follows a preliminary study in Springer's Journal of Medical Toxicology led by Stephanie Carreiro of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the US. Her team tested the use of wristband sensors worn by a group of patients in an emergency room who were receiving opioids for severe pain relief.
Non-invasive devices worn close to the body are becoming popular among other uses as health tracking tools. These small and user-friendly biosensors provide continuous data that can be stored and reviewed later, or be transmitted wirelessly to allow for real time review and analysis. More data on physical changes and activity are, however, needed before such devices can be put into use as part of substance abuse treatment programs. Numerous studies are underway to determine the biometric profiles of people who are using opioids.
To this end, Carreiro's team conducted preliminary research involving 30 emergency room patients. They were prescribed intravenous opioid analgesics to treat their acute pain. The particular medication and dose administered to each patient was decided on by the attending physician. The patients agreed to wear a wristband biosensor, which allowed the researchers to detect how the patients' bodies reacted to the dosages.