The tech world is constantly on the hunt for a new killer app. The traditional definition1 of a ‘killer app’ is the software or service so appealing that consumers will buy hardware to gain its benefits, but increasingly, a killer app is defined by its ability to deliver a service that was all but impossible in the recent past. For instance, the late Steve Jobs launched the iPhone2 in 2007 by saying, “The killer app is making calls!”
Of course, the former head of Apple was focused on the phone’s traditional function at launch. Today, however, smartphones assist with many different aspects of our lives, including powering telemedicine and its potential to achieve successful outcomes for patients facing opioid addiction. Effective treatments are more important than ever, as opioid addiction and overdoses have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A staggering 100,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in the past 12 months,3 a figure that will undoubtedly continue growing unless needed care reaches more individuals struggling with addiction. Fortunately, modern advances in smartphone technology and video conferencing software set the stage for telemedicine to enter the fight against this scourge. In this emerging and unique application of telemedicine, it’s crucial to tackle a central question: what treatment can be paired with medicine to deliver the best patient outcomes?
Intensive study by QuickMD provided a clear answer to how cutting-edge innovation combined with MAT, or medication-assisted treatment, might address the life-or-death issue of opioid-use disorder.4 When the “M” in MAT refers to Suboxone – as is the case with QuickMD’s TeleMAT platform – providers can help ease patients’ withdrawal symptoms while reducing the cravings patients feel for opioids. Suboxone (the most popular brand name of buprenorphine + naloxone)5 doesn’t provide a high, meaning patients can go about their daily lives even while in active treatment. Accordingly, our team developed TeleMAT based on three key factors: