Drug use is a widespread problem that requires coordinated efforts from various sectors of the government to be addressed effectively. In the past, the impact of drug use and addiction is witnessed and studied through its casualties. Technology and data science, together, aims to study the problem with a preventive and interventionist point of view.
Technology trailblazer, Microsoft through its US Public Sector Solutions Architect Al Smith, designed a cloud-based system to provide actionable intelligence. The result of this effort is the Opioid Prevention and Intervention Intelligence System (OPIIS) that aims to reduce drug-related deaths in the forefront and prevent potential for substance abuse moving forward. The system uses Microsoft encrypted cloud database storage, data analytics, collaboration and case management tools to make this possible.
Al Smith discussed the inception of the system, its features and functions, as well as a demonstration of how the platform is used. Al detailed these and more on this webinar covering:
- The statistics and history of drug-related deaths in the US.
- How these deaths became one of the motivating factors to the inception and creation of the Opioid Prevention and Intervention Intelligence System (OPIIS).
- Microsoft’s goal of addressing the epidemic of opioid abuse through data science to predict and prevent potential drug abuse cases.
- Building up the database by creating individual ‘golden records’ by gathering historical information across the domains of human services, medical care, and justice/public safety.
- Microsoft solutions as Azure, Dynamics 365 and Cloud being utilized for data analysis, collaboration and case management.
- The active risk factors that are measured by the system as family history, age, criminal history, history of mental illness, history of substance abuse, and access to prescription drugs.
- Calculating risk scores using the identified active risk factors.
- Processing and indexing raw data from the golden record based on the risk scores to create cases.
- Managing the active cases and assigning them to the proper authority.
- The initial recommended next steps based on the risk assessment namely: counseling, educating, outreach, physician notification, intervention, and prevention.
- The different datasets or sources that once aggregated becomes the basis of the intelligence report for the cases.
- Common information found in the case records.
- How OPIIS ensures security of records and identities through encryption.
- Capturing individual scores through contact history of self-serve methods like a phone hotline, chatbox, or online portal.
- An end-to-end demonstration of how the system can be used from creation, database, analysis, case management, action plan, and completion.
Al clarified on the Q&A segment audience inquiries relating to:
- Managing user roles and access to the system
- Data storage and encryption
- Reliability of data
- The integration of databases from different sources
- Ownership of data
- Access to resources
- The scalability and limits of the system
- The screening instrument for substance abuse that the OPIIS used
- The validity of the results
- The basis of the algorithm used in the scoring system
- Avoiding a slippery slope scenario by defining policies guiding the use of the OPIIS system
- The costs of the system
Long term: Help control the epidemic and opioid-related deaths and turn it into a manageable HHS concern instead of an additional strain on law enforcement and the HHS system.