A device that may help some people with allergies

Health Watch

An undergraduate class project could be medicine’s next big thing.

What if during a severe allergic reaction you reach for your medicine and it isn’t there?

It would be if you were wearing it.

When Albert Han began studying engineering at Rice University in Houston, he met a new group of friends.

They clicked instantly.

Albert Han, Rice University student says, “As we kind of got to know each other better and worked with each other more we were able to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”

So when one of the friends, Justin Tang, explained that he has a severe peanut allergy and that it’s bulky to carry an EpiPen everywhere, these friends put their mind to the task.

Deirdre Hunter, a lecturer at Rice University says, “I was like ok that’s bold and ambitious and like the scope of that project is pretty large.”

The idea was to create an injection device so portable that it could fit in a watch.

For weeks they worked on the design creating a prototype that could fold in three pieces.

And when it finally came down to put it all together, Epiwear was born.

Han continues, “That was a very I guess exciting moment for us because I guess coming from scratch, we didn’t actually expect anything to work, honestly.”

According to a 2018 survey published in Annals of allergy, asthma, and immunology, even though 89 percent of patients fill their prescriptions; only 44 percent said they actually carry epinephrine on them.

Deirdre Hunter continues, “Those first two moments of having an allergic reaction are like the most vital and critical.”

Han hopes their device will change that statistic, helping thousands of people and one close friend.

The students plan to finalize their design and then apply for FDA approval.

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