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Mobile App for Opiate Addicts Wins at MIT Grand Hack

At this year's edition of MIT's Hacking Medicine "Grand Hack," a team of researchers led by Emily Lindemer, a 3rd year PhD candidate in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program, was awarded the "Best Mental Health Hack" for their Hey, Charlie mobile app for opiate addicts who are in recovery or are seeking recovery.

Lindemer, who has had someone close to her suffer from opiate addiction, knows that environment is a major hurdle for recovering addicts. “It’s hard to get out of the environment you started using in when you come back from rehab,” she explained. “And you’ll be at risk of using again if you’re with the people you started using with.” After crowdsourcing advice from the Recovery Subreddit, Lindemer and her team of UX designers, engineers, and a clinical psychologist came up with an app that, at its core, does two simple things—blacklists the numbers of people who might thwart recovery, such as dealers or other addicts, and highlight the numbers of people who are positive influences.

 

Date: 
Thursday, May 19, 2016