While Biobot is best known for its infectious disease efforts, the company’s first wastewater monitoring platform was actually built in 2017 to help tackle the opioid overdose epidemic. In early 2020, Biobot paused its opioid work to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, but never lost sight of the important work to be done within the high-risk substance space. In 2022, the U.S. saw a record-breaking number of fatal overdoses, a crisis that only grew worse during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, last fall Biobot launched its new and improved High Risk Substance Wastewater Platform (HRS Platform) to help communities better understand and respond to high-risk substance use.
When it comes to managing the opioid crisis, many interventions are often simply too late. Public health teams currently rely on survey data, emergency medical services (EMS) data, mortality data, and hospitalization data to estimate substance use. With much of this data coming months or years after overdoses have been recorded, it is virtually impossible to create timely, targeted, and data-driven public health interventions to support communities and individuals. These sources also tend to vastly undercount substance use in communities for a number of reasons, including the fact that the vast majority of individuals who use drugs avoid the healthcare system. Another big issue? Overdose hospitalizations and deaths are only the tip of the iceberg – the majority of individuals who use drugs do not overdose. This is why traditional data sources only capture a small fraction of high risk substance use in a community.
Enter proactive wastewater monitoring. Wastewater monitoring fills the data gap that hinders drug intervention and addiction support programs. To dig deeper into the topic, we’re hosting two upcoming webinars focused on exploring the use and value of wastewater data for understanding community substance use, making data-driven decisions on where to strategically allocate resources, and evaluating program impact from new spending sources like opioid settlement funds. Learn more and register via the links below:
Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Time: 12 pm ET
Summary: In this hour-long webinar, you’ll hear why New Castle County chose to use wastewater monitoring to understand high risk substance use, including fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, and nicotine, in their community and how it will help them address the overdose crisis. Attendees will also learn more about the unique partnerships taking place to maximize–and act–on the data. By looking at wastewater, county officials, law enforcement, and other organizations receive an unbiased view of high risk substance use that enables them to deploy support and resources to those areas that need it most.
Date: Dec 14, 2023
Time: 1pm ET
Summary: Join Biobot and The Steadman Group for the first in a series of webinars dedicated to enhancing our understanding of wastewater data’s role in crafting a more effective, data-driven approach to combat the opioid epidemic and bolster public health. This session will specifically focus on the power of wastewater data, its comparison to other data sources, and its integration into opioid abatement fund spending program planning and evaluation.
This webinar lays the foundation for recognizing the importance of wastewater data in comprehending community substance use, identifying available funding sources and resources for communities, exploring data source compatibility, and showcasing concrete examples of wastewater data application in community action.
Written by Biobot Analytics
Biobot provides wastewater epidemiology data & analysis to help governments & businesses focus on public health efforts and improve lives.