Citation: Witteman A, Roebers T, Opstelten D-J, “EPIWatch: a Novel, Life-Saving Micro Autoinjector in a Smart Watch”. ONdrugDelivery Magazine, Issue 108 (June 2020), pp 58-59.
Amber Witteman, Thijs Roebers and Dirk-Jan Opstelten introduce the company’s patented innovation, a wearable autoinjector customised to fit the wrist.
EPIWatch (Figure 1) is a small, wearable proprietary autoinjector that can make a big difference in the daily lives of patients with a life-threatening allergy. EPIWatch offers a novel way to self-inject and tackles some of the big problems of traditional autoinjection devices. The company’s goal is to serve the market with this complementary product to provide comfort, allay fears and save lives.
WHY IS EPIWATCH NOVEL?
EPIWatch is the first wearable autoinjector customised to fit the wrist. EPIWatch can inject a drug intramuscularly, subcutaneously, or intradermally, while the device is in a wearable state.
The current focus is on the development of the EPIWatch for intramuscular injection applications. It is designed to be discreetly worn on the wrist. EPIWatch is in direct contact with the patient’s skin 24/7 allowing future sensor technology to collect individual data from the patient’s skin through healthcare apps. AI data analytics preventative warnings signals could possibly be generated to alert patients.
The patient does not need to release the watch from the wrist to inject the medication. This makes the injection position stable and safer to use, and it involves fewer user steps than many other devices. The time saving advantage is extremely important when every second counts, in the case of an acute allergic reaction.
EPIWatch injects in just one direction, warns the patient by a flickering red led light when the drug is expiring and when the patient needs to replace EPIWatch. EPIWatch also has an “assistance button” that, once activated, helps the patient through a stressful emergency situation by a voice guide so the patient can feel more secure about how to administer the drug.
HOW IS IT USED?
“By definition, an emergency is not expected, and that is the key – to have your life-saving drug always at hand. The one accessory you always have at hand, even while you sleep,
is a bracelet or watch.”
The patient places the EPIWatch, still in place as worn on their wrist, onto their upper thigh to inject. This position gives the patient a very steady grip, without having to see a needle. The patient is assisted throughout the process by the voice guide.
The uniqueness lies in the fact that EPIWatch is an injectable in a wearable state and thereby we reduced the user steps to the minimum, which is time saving when seconds and minutes count. The device cannot easily be forgotten, and the drug cannot expire unnoticed. User steps are summarised in Figure 2.
WHO IS EPIWATCH FOR?
EPIWatch is designed to be safely used by patients who might need an emergency or daily dose of a drug potentially to save their lives, or to alleviate symptoms, such as those associated with a severe allergic reaction, which can potentially develop into more severe symptoms and even result in death.
These patients need to have their drugs at hand when an emergency situation arises. By definition, an emergency is not expected, and that is the key – to have a life-saving drug always at hand. The one accessory always at hand, even while sleep, is a bracelet or watch.
EPIWatch is thrilled to be turning this concept into a valid, working, intuitive device to meet the requirements to get it to market and meet patients’ needs. The company is investigating CDMO opportunities and is excited that it will shortly announce its CDMO.
A video introducing the EPIWatch can be viewed here.
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