Courteney Eccless Epipatch

  • Tauira / Student
    Courteney Eccless
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Anke Nienhuis, Kate Weatherly

Everyday Individuals who have anaphylaxis are at risk of experiencing a severe, life-threatening reaction. No matter the precautions they take to avoid their allergen, checking food ingredient labels, asking wait staff about potential contamination, nothing can truly prevent a reaction. The recommended action is to carry their prescribed epinephrine auto-injector, ideally two, on them always. With the current products comes a plethora of issues including procedural errors and emotional implications associated with using or requiring them. Bulky and hard to transport, fear of inflicting more pain, misuse, broken metaphors, negative and aggressive connotations.

Epipatch pushes the possibilities of medicine and rethinks how we approach anaphylaxis management.

The epipatch aims to reduce the stigma attached to carrying the large ‘weapon-like’ device and empower and encourage them to confidently carry their epipatch on an everyday basis. There was a large focus placed upon the emotional implications of the emergency situations that epinephrine is required in. In these situations, there is a heightened sense of stress, doubt, panic and uncertainty, epipatch has been designed to be as intuitive as possible, eliminate those emotions and leaving users feeling calm and confident in administration.

The epipatch features dozens of water-soluble microneedles which begin to dissolve into the bloodstream once applied, releasing the lifesaving epinephrine. If a patient is experiencing a reaction, they, or someone assisting them, apply the patch to the inside of the forearm like a plaster. No aggressive swing and jab motion is required and the chance of accidental needle pricks has been eliminated. The system is designed to have a smooth transition from removing the patch, to placing it on the arm without readjusting the grip or fumbling with the patch. The user then presses the patch for 5 seconds. Pressing ensures the painless needles have full contact with the skin and result in the patch losing its colour, signifying and reassuring users that they have correctly administered the patch.

The carry case integrates the epipatch seamlessly into the users' lifestyle. The case is to be attached to keys, purse or a school bag, simplifying transportation and reducing the chances of forgetting the epipatch at home. The case is sleek and discreet but still identifiable if the patients need assistance during a reaction. Users are also able to personalise their case by added skins to make their case unique to them.

Once the Epipatch has been used or reaches its expiry date the users simply remove the case inserts and replace with their prescribed refill, minimising the waste associated with current solutions. As a result of the epipatch not containing a hypodermic needle, specialist sharps disposal is not required.

The supplementary webpage, which users will be directed to when they scan the QR code inside of the patients' case, will provide support to those who are unfamiliar with the Epipatch or Anaphylaxis. Often patients need assistance when administering their epinephrine, the webpage guides users through the application process, providing reassurance along the way.