Using Tech to Stop the Opioid Crisis

On December 10, 2018, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) within NIH, posted a Funding Opportunity on titled “HEAL Initiative: Americas Startups and Small Businesses Build Technologies to Stop the Opioid Crisis” (R41/R42).

With the support of the President and HHS, NIH was able to launch the “Helping to End Addiction Long-term” referred to as the (NIH-HEAL Act). The goal is to end addiction long term by providing science and research-based solutions to the opioid crisis now affecting individuals, families, and communities.

The funding announcement seeks small businesses to submit Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications. Biomedical technologies that could lead to the prevention and treatment of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) are highly desired.

Small business companies that are currently developing marketed technologies and interested in demonstrating that their product, device, therapeutics, diagnostics, etc. has a potential application in the OUD space are encouraged to apply.

Some of the tools and technology requested may include:

  • OUD devices and technologies that directly detect and/or reduce craving
  • Innovative tools to identify and treat newborns exposed to opioids
  • Digital health technologies and mobile applications focused on behavioral health interventions
  • Technologies to detect vital signs remotely
  • Software tools and bioinformatics technologies for data integration
  • OUD control tools for parents and family to support patients with OUDs
  • Drug discovery and development-enabling technologies such as drug screening.


NIDA intends to commit $3 million in FY 2019 to fund 3-10 awards, depending on the mix of application types. Applications can be submitted by January 8, 2019, April 9, 2019, September 8, 2019, April 9, 2020, September 8, 2020 April 9, 2021, and September 8, 2021.

Go to for details on the funding notice.

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