A new app has been developed that will allow recreational drug users to scan their MDMA pills and find out what they contain, as well as a host of other things.
Ahead of the proposed 21 June reopening of nightclubs, and a summer of planned revelry, concerns have grown over drug safety as the world starts to reopen following the Covid-19 pandemic.
This app could help people make better informed decisions about their recreational drug use, if they're planning to go ahead with it.
Pill-iD will let people take pictures of their pills before cross-checking them against a database for details including their MDMA content, the risk level from taking them, and any potential side-effects.
It's all completely anonymous, and could definitely save lives if it stops people from taking pills that contain anything dodgy, or if it warns people in advance of any potential side-effects.
The app would also serve to allow people to make a more informed decision on whether they really want to take pills in the first place.
The technology has been created by agency Rehab. The team there started with the first principle of attempting to save just one life, and have been working towards that goal ever since.
Pill-iD uses machine learning to identify the pills from pictures while accessing Nuit-Blanche, which is a database of different known narcotics currently in the European market.
They will then present a likely match to the user, who can then assess whether to take the pill, and be prepared for the impact it will have on them.
However, Rehab is now looking to partner with as many harm prevention services and medical bodies as possible, because the more pictures the team have, the better the app will become over time.
Rehab CEO Rob Bennett said: "As with any machine learning model, is only as effective as the data input used to train the algorithm.
"This is why we would like to partner with more drug/health services as this will allow access to significantly more images of the pills in question."
He continued: "The database has various warning levels - alert, attention, information - and Pill-iD will highlight if there is an active warning level on the pill identified.
"The highest warning is when a pill has been tested and contains over 200mg of MDMA.
"The side effects are again dependant on the data within the database but contain general descriptions of overheating, nausea etc, as well as expected timeframes for the pill to have an effect, e.g. 30 minutes."
In the future, the company hopes that the world will have a centralised database for this sort of thing, but until then, they're committed to working with what they've got.
The app is currently at the working prototype stage, but a new version of the app and database are due later this year.
Bennett added: "Recreational drug use should not be encouraged, but using technology to help people absolutely should be. If we can save just one person's life with this app, then we've done our job."
Featured Image Credit: Pill-iD
Topics: UK News, MDMA, Europe, Interesting, Drugs, Technology