Why Data Visualizations Can Make A Difference In The Opioid Epidemic

Data itself is a powerful weapon in the fight against the national opioid epidemic, but data visualizations expose the trends that trigger response, policy and action. The 1 Life Project is building a National Opioid Data Center, with a dashboard of real-time data visualizations of the opioid epidemic; in order to help our community officials understand and end the national opioid epidemic.

What is data visualization?

While we have many modern tools to diversify the ways we visualize data- the technique itself is no novelty. Data visualizations have helped us solve and gain new perspective on challenges for thousands of years. Early Egyptians used geometric diagrams to survey and plan towns. William Playfair, among his many achievements, invented the line, bar and pie charts.He then used these tools to try to expose overtaxation in Britain. Data visualizations are also commonly used in the modern world in almost every specialization.

But did you know that data visualizations have helped END an epidemic before?

Dr. Robert Baker and Dr. John Snow used data visualizations to track and understand the cholera epidemic in Leeds in the early 1800’s. Using a map to plot out the areas where the cholera disease had persisted–a locational trend between local sewage systems/infrastructure and disease clusters exposed the source of transmission. The local contaminated water source was shut off by government officials and the crisis ended shortly after.


Data Visualizations Help Communicate Information Quickly and Efficiently

Our brains can process information very quickly, but as we know processing numerous spreadsheets and graphs is tedious.  In order to understand the opioid epidemic, analyzing large current, accurate datasets is necessary. Image based presentation helps communicate critical details for informed and efficient response. Data visualizations help optimize time so that the focus can remain on solution building.

Image Based Data Sets Reveal Trends

While understanding datasets is easier with visuals, it is also important to identify trends. For that reason, we are building our National Opioid Data Center to be interactive. Users can see real time information on the epidemic and track death waves and overdose clusters.

Data visualization has been helping us reach new plateaus for centuries. The National Opioid Data Center will help us track the opioid crisis and save a life. Follow our journey on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Momentum Has Picked Up For The 1Life Project National Opioid Data Center!

The Data Informed Opioid Response Collaborative met recently, and the 1Life Project unveiled the login of our National Opioid Data Center.

Marisa Barbieri with the National Guard at the Data Informed Opioid Response Collaborative.
Marisa Barbieri pictured with the National Guard at the Data Informed Opioid Response Collaborative.

We are thrilled to see momentum picking up for this project. This work becomes increasingly important as opioid deaths increase at an alarming rate.

115 Americans are dying each day from the national opioid epidemic.

The opioid epidemic is recognized as a national crisis. The 1Life Project is developing solutions to address it through our opioid data tracking software. As our legislators and community officials come together to address the opioid epidemic, it is important that they understand the full picture. Data visualizations are one of the most efficient ways of displaying overwhelming amounts of information.

Data is showing us correlations that provides insight on the opioid epidemic critical to progress and change.

Communities can organize better prevention efforts, when they understand the entire problem through data.

Healthcare facilities can track death waves and issue citizen warnings when trends appear in the data. 

Detecting deadly substances and unsafe “using practices” are apparent in trends in the epidemic.

We can improve outreach and treatment by understanding the rates of hospital readmissions, patient demographics, the.

Recently the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 was introduced to the Senate, mandating the use of digital solutions in response to the escalating epidemic. The 1Life Project is currently creating these solutions, we can help support your community, together we can save a life. Contact us today for more information at info@1life.io.


Technology and Data Can Catch Fentanyl Death Waves and Save Lives

Here is a shocking opioid statistic just released about the epidemic. Over 2/3 of those recorded opioid-related deaths in 2016 were because of the potent cancer-pain drug, Fentanyl. Fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine according to the CDC, and deadly drug mixes of fentanyl are accelerating death rates. 

This 2016 opioid statistic got the attention of America: There were more American lives lost in 2016 than in the Vietnam and Iraq Wars.

The CDC reports that the opioid epidemic has “waves”. The first wave of the opioid epidemic was on account of morphine. The second wave began in the 90’s with the introduction of heroin. The third wave recorded in the opioid epidemic began in 2013 with fentanyl.

Unlike the first two waves, taking fentanyl is not always a deliberate choice. Users are usually unaware that their drugs contain fentanyl so when they intake their usual dosage; they can accidentally take a deadly amount.

Drug dealers are lacing their drugs with fentanyl to increase potency, however, the difference between a lethal and non-lethal dosage of fentanyl is in micrograms. The average drug dealer is not using the type of sophisticated equipment to necessary to properly measure fentanyl amounts and prevent deaths. Additionally, to severe addicts, news of overdose deaths indicate that a local dealer has “a good supply”.

The National Opioid Data Center from the 1Life Project will catch  Fentanyl “death” waves as they occur in real time.  The technology will display overdose clusters on daily maps to inform first responders and help fend off the fentanyl-laced deaths.

1Life might be saved.  Or 2 or 3 or 200.

The real danger is not having the technology to catch the death waves soon enough.  Data at the desktop of our community responders and stakeholders can save lives.

Imagine this:  immediately upon VIEWING an area cluster of deaths, fentanyl strips are deployed.  1Life is saved.

The 1Life Project.  Technology to save 1Life.   Help us achieve our goal.  Volunteer today.



Poverty May Be Linked To Opioid Deaths, A New Study Suggests.

The opioid epidemic is only getting worse. The locations of the highest incident clusters of opioid death are some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country. In fact, a recent study reports that poverty may be fueling the opioid epidemic.

“The clusters where opioid deaths were highest, were in Appalachia, Oklahoma, parts of the Southwest, and northern California” says Shannon Monnat an associate professor of sociology at Syracuse University in New York.  

The lowest rates of opioid death are in the Northeast, the Black Belt of Alabama and Mississippi, Texas, and the Great Plains, Monnat said.

The 1Life Project will deliver technology to SHOW near real-time data. It is important to inform stakeholders about the overdose clusters and opioid deaths.  Real time and interactive data is a valuable tool for identifying where communities are struggling. Most importantly, communities with information can IMMEDIATELY deploy interventions, and save 1Life.

“Failure to consider the substantial geographic variation in drug-related mortality rates may lead to failure to target the hardest-hit areas.”

There are areas in the United States that have alarming disparities in the incident rates. The demographic of the poorer regions in the United States face socioeconomic issues that complicate struggles with addiction. We have the numbers, therefore we cannot lose any more lives to the opioid epidemic.

Data is able to portray information easily through visualization. The National Opioid Data Center from The 1Life Project will display the clusters as they are happening. We will end the opioid epidemic through the same medium that we are tracking and understanding it, data. Follow the 1Life Project, because we are getting ready to launch our National Opioid Data Center and save lives.

You Hear What You See — Pictures Can Help End The Opioid Epidemic

You’re probably familiar with the saying: “A picture tells a thousand words”. But have you heard this quote from Doris Day? “You hear what you SEE.” She was right. The pictures we see from the opioid epidemic data, tells us stories that we can understand and remember.

Should we show you lines and lines of opioid epidemic data or a picture that depicts that data?  Which would you prefer?

The data images displayed on our computers are VISUALIZATIONS.  That’s the technical term.  Pictures = Visualizations.

THE 1LIFE PROJECT knows pictures can help SAVE LIVES.

OUR NATIONAL OPIOID DATA CENTER will INFORM our community of responders with the visualizations they need to save lives and end the opioid epidemic. The CDC has recently reported that the opioid epidemic is getting worse and they have reached conclusions by measuring the data.

We can do it.  WE WILL DO IT!