Drug Checking Technology Challenge
In 2018, Health Canada’s Impact Canada Initiative launched a drug checking technology challenge calling for the creation of a rapid, accurate, easy to use, and low-cost device or instrument that could be used with minimal training and sample preparation. The ultimate goal is to benefit frontline service providers and people who use drugs by providing critical information on the drug supply and thereby reduce overdose risk. With the first and second stages of the challenge complete, finalists are now piloting their prototypes and competing for the grand prize to be announced in March 2021.
The CDPE’s Executive Director, Dr. Dan Werb, and Dr. Drew Hall from the University of California San Diego are one of three finalists for their smartphone-based portable drug checking device to detect the presence of toxic adulterants – including opioids – in drugs from the unregulated supply. The technology, DoseCheck, uses electrochemical analysis of a drug sample and then transmits data to a dedicated app that provides users with information about their sample. This information is then aggregated to uncover trends in the composition of the unregulated drug market and provide alerts across communities and geographic areas about adulterants in the unregulated drug supply. To capture trends in the unregulated drug supply, the technology employs sensors that can be updated to identify emerging adulterants.
St. Michael’s Hospital | University of California San Diego
Dr. Dan Werb