Big Data

How a software company is using AI to combat the opioid epidemic

Hc1 is applying analytics to drug usage and addiction datasets to provide national insights.

Software company hc1.com is applying artificial intelligence (AI) to opioid datasets in hopes of decreasing opioid addiction, the company announced Monday.

The hc1 Opioid Dashboard is a cloud-based service that analyzes US data of drug misuse, abuse, and addiction to provide national insights, according to a press release. The tool is designed for governmental bodies and those in the healthcare industry, including drug screening labs.

Looking at information from more than 3.8 million healthcare providers and 5 billion test results, the tool analyzes the data in real-time to provide information on drug usage. The results can be targeting down to the zip code, according to the release.

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"To counteract this mounting public health crisis, state and federal agencies must gain an edge that historical prescribing, rehab, and mortality data alone simply cannot provide," said Brad Bostic, CEO of hc1.com, in the release. "The hc1 Opioid Dashboard delivers a live view into the drugs that are in use across the nation and correlates drug usage patterns with adverse outcomes."

Opioid abuse is a national emergency in the US, the release said, with thousands of people dying each month and an estimated $55 billion annual price tag.

Outside of potentially helping with drug abuse, the dashboard gives an example of how emerging technologies can be utilized outside of enterprise. Nonprofits or government research are two potential fields that may gain from similar projects in the future.

Recently, other tech companies have also been using their products for social good. For example, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, both AT&T and Google helped provide emergency cell service using drones and balloons, respectively.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Hc1.com is using AI to provide real-time data about the US opioid epidemic, the company announced Monday.
  2. By scanning billions of test results, the hc1 Opioid Dashboard can give information about a location's opioid use down to the zip code.
  3. The results will be available to state and national governmental agencies and multiple groups in the healthcare industry in hopes of combatting the epidemic.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/Tsyhun

About Olivia Krauth

Olivia Krauth is a Multiplatform Reporter at TechRepublic.

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