People with severe allergies are prescribed epinephrine auto-injectors by their physicians; however, most people do not carry their injectors for one simple reason: they are too big to carry.
The most common auto-injectors are pen-shaped, but not pen-sized: they are over six inches long and don't fit in your pocket. In a backpack, they can be easily stored – but not easily accessed – in an emergency.
With EpiWear, we set out to solve both of these problems – portability and accessibility.
EpiWear is the first wrist-wearable epinephrine auto-injector that anyone can comfortably carry and access at all times. Sized and shaped to resemble a wristwatch, EpiWear can be worn discreetly in any setting and customized to the user's taste.
EpiWear's manual nature makes it easy and safe to use. Its safety features prevent accidental activation, needlestick injuries, and needle contamination; at the same time, EpiWear can quickly be readied for use. An EpiWear user will never have to waste precious time searching for their auto-injector when they need it most.
Using EpiWear is simple. All you have to do is (1) remove the safety latch, (2) position EpiWear over the thigh, and (3) push down on the handle to deliver the life-saving dose. That's it – just 3 steps to save a life.
(1) After pulling out the safety latch, the magnetic front cover is unlocked and the back handle pops out automatically – priming EpiWear for injection. Once the latch is out, a pulling motion on EpiWear – in any direction – will remove it from the wrist and expose the injection face.
(2) EpiWear should be placed over the thigh, as per FDA regulations for standard epinephrine injection. There's only one possible injection face, so positioning is intuitive and simple.
(3) Pushing down on the handle will drive a needle directly into the intramuscular tissue region of the thigh and deliver an accurate dosage, all in one fluid motion. Pulling back on the handle and reinserting the safety latch will retract and lock the needle, preventing any accidental needle-stick injuries.
FEATURES & BENEFITS
1. Accessibility – Current auto-injectors are too big to carry comfortably, meaning that many people can't get to them when it counts. EpiWear is not only always on hand, but is also quick to deploy. Within seconds, a person can get a life-saving dose of epinephrine within seconds – so no time is wasted searching for an auto-injector.
2. Customization – EpiWear is fully aesthetically customizable. EpiWear can be produced in any color and can accept any standard watchband. Furthermore, the top plate can be replaced with a standard watch face, providing discretion and style.
3. Simplicity – Current auto-injectors are confusing to operate, as it is often unclear from which end the needle is released. Because of this, anaphylaxis often leads to two hospitalizations – the patient and the Good Samaritan who accidentally injected straight through their thumb. EpiWear has exactly one clear injection face, fully eliminating this problem.
4. Safety – EpiWear's manual nature is designed to protect the user. The needle is never exposed at any point, reducing the risk of contamination and virtually eliminating needle-stick injuries. Accidental activation is further rendered impossible, as there are no active components.
A provisional patent application for EpiWear has been filed with the USPTO, and a full patent application is in progress. A 200% model has been built and successfully tested as a proof of concept; real-size models are currently being developed.
EpiWear won second place for Best Invention at Invention Factory 2017 at The Cooper Union, and has received media attention.
ABOUT THE INVENTORS
Alon S. Levin and Benjamin Kaplan are sophomores at The Cooper Union, both studying Electrical Engineering, with a projected graduation date of May 2020.
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