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Automated Antidote Injector for Opioid Overdose Prevention

A compact, wearable device capable of sensing an opioid overdose and initiating injection of an antidote

Published: 7th July 2022
Automated Antidote Injector for Opioid Overdose Prevention


More than 110,000 people died from opioid overdose in 2017, according to the World Health Organization - and opioid use has only continued to grow since. The United States Center for Disease Control reports that more than 50,000 people died from opioid-related overdose in 2019 in that country. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated opioid-related deaths, in Canada opioid overdose deaths increased by 95% in 2020 and have remained high according to the Public Health Infobase, and this trend has been observed worldwide. Several factors have contributed to these marked increases including feelings of isolation, stress, anxiety and an increasingly toxic drug supply.

Drug overdose from illicit drugs is primarily caused by Fentanyl, which has now all but replaced Heroine in street drugs. Fentanyl is very powerful, and because there is no regulation on illicit drug supply, the strength of any given dose is extremely variable. This, in combination to increased tolerance, leads to overdose – which can lead to death.

There is a commonly used, safe, and effective antidote to Fentanyl overdose, Naloxone. Naloxone is non-toxic to non-opioid users; it explicitly binds to opioid receptors in competition with the opioids. Naloxone kits are carried by emergency medical services, are available at safe injection sites and can be purchased by users, but their use requires that someone else is present when an overdose occurs. Naloxone must be administered in a timely manner; typically it can restore normal breathing and consciousness within 1-5 minutes. Many opioid users use alone, which means that if an overdose occurs there is no one there to administer an antidote quickly. There is a need for an automated antidote delivery system that can safely and effectively prevent overdose.

Technology Overview

A research and development team has generated a wearable, automated antidote delivery system to combat opioid overdose death. This system can detect when an overdose occurs in a user based on physiological signals. Upon detecting an overdose, the device automatically injects the user with antidote. The device is small enough to wear on the upper arm or leg, and uses a proprietary design to ensure that the antidote injection is subcutaneous. The device is self-contained and reusable; the injection system can be exchanged with a new, full system.


  • Automated.
  • Easy to use.
  • Simple components.
  • Reusable.
  • Capable of carrying multiple antidote doses.
  • Subcutaneous injection.


Drug overdose death prevention for solo users.


  • Research Collaboration
  • Licensing
IP Status
  • Provisional patent
  • Development partner
  • Licensing
  • Commercial partner