A ‘watch’ called EpiWear features a built-in Epinephrine Shot

The trifold device, EpiWear has an in-built syringe that can be unfolded to administer an epinephrine allergy shot in case of an emergency.

Credit: Brandon Martin/Rice University
Credit: Brandon Martin/Rice University

If you’re someone who is prone to some harmful allergic reactions, then carrying an epinephrine shot such as an EpiPen could be life-preserving. But unluckily these shots are not easy to carry around. There are chances of losing or might be difficult to find when they are in bags. It can make a big difference between life and death if you lose it right before you need it.

How about putting these EpiPen shots on your wrist? Students of Rice University come up with the same idea, they have developed a wearable that features an in-built epinephrine syringe, not much larger than a watch.

This epinephrine delivery device called “EpiWear” meant to be worn on a wrist, like a watch, or elsewhere on the body by a person at risk of an allergic reaction that requires an immediate response.

The trifold device, seen in a larger version here, will make it easier for people to keep with them if needed quickly. (Credit: Brandon Martin/Rice University)
The trifold device, seen in a larger version here, will make it easier for people to keep with them if needed quickly. (Credit: Brandon Martin/Rice University)

During an emergency, the user can easily unfold it to quickly administer themselves a shot or someone could do it for them by accessing it from their wrist. The user just needs to flick a safety lever and push a button when they’re ready to inject the medicine into their thigh.

According to Tang (one of the team member), “The idea came from me because I suffer peanut allergies. I’m very self-aware and worried about my life, but it was always difficult for me to bring something as bulky and obtrusive as this when going to dinner with friends or just going out at night.

EpiWear is expected to be capable of delivering a dose of 0.3 milliliters of epinephrine shot. When unfolded the device will be about the same length as the epinephrine pens on the market now. The dose will be placed in the middle section and a strong spring on the top.

A breakdown shows the internal mechanism of an epinephrine delivery device prototyped by Rice University engineering students. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)
A breakdown shows the internal mechanism of an epinephrine delivery device prototyped by Rice University engineering students. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)

As far as a safety concern, the three-piece folding device makes it effectively impossible to trigger the needle by accident. And also the team is planning for a case that would prevent the button from touching anything until the shot is necessary.

The rice team is also hoping that its creation will lead to a delivery device that is less expensive, more stylish and thus more likely to be worn by users. Right now the prototype is quite big, but the team claims that this is due to the 3D printing process.

They’re even considering adding watch functionality so that it does more than sit on your wrist in ordinary situations. If this happens, the EpiWear will definitely be a great solution- stylish enough to carry anywhere with you.

Now no more awkward feeling about carrying a life-saving injection with you and also no worry about leaving it behind.