Brave Technology, a Vancouver technology co-operative, is the sole Canadian recipient of $200,000 in the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge.
The grant was also awarded to 11 other companies, who are now vying for a $1 million grant to develop technical solutions to address the overdose crisis.
Brave’s pilot goal was to offer residents a way to access safer drug consumption, as well as to test whether people would use the resource.
Developed in collaboration with PwrdBy, Brave created an app called Be Safe that helps people at risk of overdose receive remote supervision when using drugs alone. What’s more, the app offers unaccompanied drug users a network of resources not often available in rural or isolated settings.
In addition, people remain anonymous, even if they request supervision. Further, the user’s location is only revealed it it is being used to keep them safe.
Brave also uses internet-enabled smart buttons to allow individuals that live in supportive housing to connect with support if they are at risk of having an overdoes. By pressing a Brave Button located in their rooms, housing residents trigger an SMS alert system to inform supporters in the building, who will check on the individual within 3-5 minutes.
After trying the pilot, 100% of participants said they wanted permanent access to the in-room Brave Buttons.
Over the past year and a half, Brave connected with and interviewed over 100 stakeholders in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. These people included those who use drugs, frontline responders, harm reduction workers, and community organizations, whose insight formed the foundation of their pilot project.