Toxicology Investigation

Journal of Medical Toxicology

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 5-9

Preliminary Efforts Directed Toward the Detection of Craving of Illicit Substances: The iHeal Project

  • Edward W. BoyerAffiliated withDepartment of Emergency Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School Email author 
  • , Rich FletcherAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical SchoolMedia Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • , Richard J. FayAffiliated withDepartment of Emergency Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • , David SmelsonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • , Douglas ZiedonisAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • , Rosalind W. PicardAffiliated withMedia Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Abstract

Many behavioral interventions, whether for the management of chronic pain, overeating, medication adherence, or substance abuse, are ineffective outside of the clinic or office environments in which they are taught. This lack of utility has spawned interest in enabling technologies that are capable of detecting changes in affective state that potentially herald a transition to risky behaviors. We have therefore undertaken the preliminary development of “iHeal”, an innovative constellation of technologies that incorporates artificial intelligence, continuous biophysical monitoring, wireless connectivity, and smartphone computation. In its fully realized form, iHeal can detect developing drug cravings; as a multimedia device, it can also intervene as the cravings develop to prevent drug use. This manuscript describes preliminary data related to the iHeal Project and our experience with its use.

Keywords

Drug abuse mHealth eHealth Wireless communications Drug craving Craving Mobile health