With the rise of opioid overdoses in San Luis Obispo County, a group of Cal Poly students has teamed up with the San Luis Obispo Opioid Safety Coalition to find better ways to access Naloxone, a medication that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose.
Cal Poly students working at the Digital Transformation Hub on campus helped develop the new Naloxone Now app, which allows a person to request a Naloxone kit be sent to their doorstep.
“During the pandemic, the opioid use spiked, especially in San Luis Obispo County, so there was just this need for access to Naloxone,” said Reilly Salkowski, a Cal Poly senior software engineering major.
“Our coalition team was talking about this idea of how we get Naloxone more out in the community,” said Jenn Rhoads, San Luis Obispo County Behavioral Health Specialist.
The project took one and a half years to complete.
The app is now available at naloxonenowslo.org.
“At the Digital Transformational Hub, our goal is to get our students real-world learning experiences with innovation processes and the latest technologies so that they have all of that in their back pocket before they graduate,” said Paul Jurasin, Director of Cal Poly's Digital Transformational Hub.
“Anywhere you are, you have access to these resources and so that accessibility was the number one goal here,” Salkowski explained.
The students worked with the SLO Opioid Safety Coalition using Amazon Web Services to create an application accessible by computer and phone.
“We were meeting with the client, the San Luis Obispo Opioid Coalition, making sure that all of the functionality was working how they intended,” Salkowski said. “You don’t get to have a lot of course work where you get to solve real problems for real companies, so just getting to do that through the DX Hub was incredible.”
The goal of the application is to reduce the number of opioid-related deaths.
“The impact of this will be able to reach all of the corners of our community so I’m happy that we get to do that,” Rhoads said.
“It can get out there to the people that really need it, it’s unbelievable,” Jurasin said.
“I’m always looking for a place I can make an impact, so this was the perfect opportunity,” Salkowski said.
The application does not require a login to access the site and can be accessed by web browser on both computers and smartphones.