Opioid Induced Respiratory Depression
Understanding The Opioid Epidemic
Towards the end of the 20th century, misinformation by a number of pharmaceutical companies stating that their opioid painkilling products were not addictive led to a surge in prescribing across the USA for patients with chronic pain.
At the same time, wider availability led to an increase in the number of people with emotional trauma and mental health conditions turning to opioids for their euphoric effects and becoming rapidly dependent.
Misuse of prescription and illicitly manufactured opioids is now the largest cause of death in most developed countries. In the USA, the result is a public health emergency that killed more than 70,000 people last year (CDC).
Worldwide, about 0.5 million deaths are attributable to drug use. More than 70% of these deaths are related to opioids.
World Health Organization, August 2021
Opioids affect the parts of the brain that control breathing – a condition known as Opioid Induced Respiratory Depression (OIRD)
In the vast majority of cases, OIRD is inadvertent and accidental. Unless identified at an early stage, it is lethal.
With highly effective antidotes available, if OIRD can be identified at an early stage, nearly all of these deaths may be preventable.
PneumoWave is a development-stage remote monitoring platform for patients at risk of OIRD. It aims to continuously monitor and accurately detect respiratory depression, generating an alert. Designed to detect OIRD caused by either prescription or illicit drugs, whether in a healthcare facility or at home, our aim is to stop all preventable deaths from opioid use.
Currently undergoing clinical development and evaluation in an international program of research, we are working to make PneumoWave widely available, as soon as possible, via the FDA Breakthrough Medical Device Program.
PneumoWave’s technology is currently undergoing development and evaluation in clinical trials. Performance characteristics have yet to be established.