Smartphone App to Help Keep Drug Cravings in Check


The University of Massachusetts Medical School scientists have come up with a new smartphone app that will help control drug cravings of people who are trying to stay drug-free at all times.

smartphone appThe report published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology indicated that the upcoming app called iHeal will gather physical and mental data from substance abusers to keep their stress levels in-check that will dramatically decrease the chances for relapse.

Those who choose to get the app will have to wear sensor bands around their wrists that will monitor their heart rates, body temperature, motion and the skin’s electrical activity. The band will in turn send information to one’s smartphone where the said app does its work to help keep a person away from using drugs again.

While the app is still being continuously developed by the team of researchers, professor of emergency medicine and director of toxicology at UMass Edward Boyer said the app could prove to become a strong drug-prevention intervention tool that can be found in smartphones.

“When the mathematics get good enough it should be able to predict when people will develop some kind of drug cravings,” Boyer said. “It might help with more immediate delivery and immediate effect.”

The app’s promising status has already caught the interest of rehab clinics such as the Hope House in Boston. A representative from the facility sees the app will be a great tool in fulfilling their mission. Hope House director for clinical services Stacy Conroy emphasized the probable role of the app for people who are recovering from substance abuse.

“We definitely know that stress is connected to relapse. One of the key factors [to recovery] is learning to manage daily stress. An application that is designed to help someone manage their stress would be helpful.”

Together with other methods for recovery, the app could be very effective and will be able to address the needs of individuals who want to get their lives back on a straight path.

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