Building a Digital Safety Net

A mobile and desktop app, Lazarus, was recently designed to provide a digital safety net to help heroin users in times of need.

The office of Cincinnati council member P.G Sittenfeld, venture-building studio Spry Labs and Group 17A hosted a two-day event, Hacking Heroin, where teams created products aimed at combating opiate addiction.

Lazarus, built during the event, connects those struggling with addiction to a certified peer mentor nearby. Although built for smartphones, it will also be accessible online from a desktop or through texting on a standard cell phone.

The app is simple to use. A swipe right on the screen begins a chat. It then connects the user to a certified care provider.

Users can choose to share their name or remain anonymous. Certified care providers from partner organizations are available at all times.

Lazarus provides location-based services from partner organizations, allowing responders to see the current location of the user and act immediately.

“We are trying to create a support network for users who need help,” the Lazarus team said. “Lazarus will create on-demand solutions that will educate and spread awareness, while also providing high quality care.”

Current partners of Lazarus include the Addiction Services Council, Talbert House and Group 17A.

The Lazarus team understands most people suffering from addiction want help, and that often the window of opportunity to get help is limited.

Lazarus aims to address requests within 20 minutes, offering quicker and easier access to help.

The app is scheduled for release in September and will be available on iOS and Android.