The EpiBracelet–a Wearable, Portable and Fashionable Automatic Epinephrine Injection Device

The EpiBracelet

Michael L. Langan, M.D.IMG_8217


Anaphylaxis is a severe medical emergency that if not treated quickly and appropriately can be fatal. It occurs unexpectedly and may progress rapidly in patients of all ages, but most often in the young and otherwise healthy. The most common cause of anaphylaxis is food allergy, especially to peanuts, which is increasing in prevalence. Rapid diagnosis is essential and immediate injection of intramuscular epinephrine is the treatment of choice, the response to which is often dramatic and potentially life saving. The early injection of epinephrine is the most important factor in anaphylaxis outcome. People who survive near fatal anaphylactic reactions receive intramuscular injections promptly while those who die do not. Death from anaphylaxis occurs most often in teenagers and young adults and is directly related to receiving injected epinephrine too late, inaccurately (outside the muscle), or not at all. Anaphylaxis most often occurs unexpectedly and in the absence of a trained health care professional. Because exposure is unpredictable the reaction may occur quickly and the patient may not be near medical help at the time of exposure, patients who are subject to severe anaphylaxis must carry epinephrine at all times. It is also necessary that the patient be able to self -administer the epinephrine during an anaphylactic attack.

The EpiPen was introduced in 1980 and currently dominates the market. Although there are other brands of auto-injector, past and present, the design is essentially the same. These auto-injectors are designed as a tubular device with a spring activated concealed needle that, when triggered, springs forward to deliver a dose of epinephrine. The EpiPen and Epicene Jr. contain 0.3 and 0.15 mg of epinephrine respectively and are designed for single dose intramuscular injection for emergency treatment of anaphylaxis.

Recent studies indicate a number of problems with the Epicene that are addressed below. The Epicene is difficult to use, can only be used once, has only two fixed doses of epinephrine and is considered burdensome. Many patients are noncompliant with the EpiPen and do not carry it with them at all times for various reasons including problems with size shape and appearance. It has a counter-intuitive design that can promote accidental misfiring into a digit. The needle length of the EpiPen is not sufficient for intramuscular injection in up to one-third of children and adults and in these individuals the epinephrine is delivered subcutaneously rather than intramuscularly. Subcutaneous epinephrine absorption is delayed and can result in an adverse outcome as dose, timing, and absorption of epinephrine are of paramount importance in anaphylaxis outcome.

PrintIt would be desirable to provide a portable and easy to use auto-injector for rapid intramuscular injection of epinephrine. We describe an epinephrine auto-injector that is also a fashion accessory. The EpiBracelet is an auto-injector that is designed for portability, ease of use, and safety. The EpiBracelet consists of two semi-circular plastic hollow arms connected by a rotating hinge. The bracelet arms are of unequal length with the shorter arm housing the epinephrine needle injection mechanism and the longer arm containing the trigger mechanism. The epinephrine is contained in a removable unit that is inserted into the tubular arm of the bracelet and locked into the bracelet with a cap. This removable unit, the EpiPod, contains a measured dose of epinephrine and the needle injector unit. In order to use the Epibracelet for injection one of the arms must be rotated 180 degrees and will then lock in place. The smaller of the two arms is designed to conform to the curves of the vastus lateralis muscle of the thigh enabling the patient, or first responder, to easily target the injection area. The device is battery operated and to prevent accidental misfiring the circuit from the trigger mechanism to activate the injection is only complete when the arm is locked in place at 180 degrees.

IMG_0740Anaphylaxis remains an important and avoidable cause of death. The EpiPen has a number of problems in its form, function, and appeal. These problems contribute to incorrect use, misuse, not carrying the unit as prescribed (non-compliance), and can result in an adverse outcome including death. Flawed design of medication delivery devices promotes user error which can result in adverse outcomes. The Epibracelet is designed with the user in mind and is simple to use with only three steps involved, Twist, Turn, and Press. This system will reduce accidental injection because the steps are intuitive and in order to activate the trigger mechanism the Epibracelet must be fully extended at 180 degrees. The EpiPods can also be manufactured with more appropriate weight and age adjusted as opposed to the current fixed doses in the EpiPen. The EpiBracelet improves auto-injector form and function, but is also fashionable. Worn as a bracelet or attached to a backpack or purse strap it is designed as an attractive accessory that also just happens to be a life saving medical device.

Read more at Disrupted Physician

15 responses to “The EpiBracelet–a Wearable, Portable and Fashionable Automatic Epinephrine Injection Device

  1. Brilliant idea! This bracelet is truly a ” better mouse trap.” I hope he takes it to Shark Tank. It’s the best way to publicize such a remarkable product. It could save many lives

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This slideshow link takes you to a 65 page presentation with excellent information. Everyone with life-threatening allergies should see it. (My son went into anaphalactic shock after getting a penicillin injection. Thank God he’s still alive!)


  3. I have to admit ” a better mouse trap for sure” My son is 15 and well he tests allergic for just about everything. LOL No really except like dairy and stuff which I think would make life really bad.
    Anyway might be a great idea for adulthood. I know he’s not going to carry a pen, but maybe a bracelet.
    Now where in the heck did peanut allergies come from. I mean you know anyone when you where a kid. And now every other kid has asthma. No one had asthma and every parent smoked. You figure that one out. LOL
    Sorry you experienced that with your son. It must have been very frightening.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, it’s a changed world for sure. Lots of this stuff caused by what govt. thinks is good for us.


  5. Hi Steve!l

    When I was room mother for my son’s elementary class, one little guy had severe food allergies; milk and dairy, seeds and nuts, etc. The only snack goodie he could eat was dry plain cheerios. He’d go into anaphalactic shock and need a trip to the ER if he ate so much as one sesame seed on a hamburger bun. My nephew’s wife has the same type of extreme food allergies. They have a new baby. I hope he didn’t inherit his mama’s food sensitivities.

    Liked by 1 person

    • spacette, Wow that is severe. I’ve told my son peanuts is no big deal considering so many other things you could be allergic to. Poor little guy. When my son was in school there were some kids, well not that bad I don’t think, but they had their own “peanut free table” My son never sat there. On birthdays parents would bring in cupcakes from bakery and my son would eat. But a few kids would only eat what their moms would bake at home. I don’t know if it was other allergies as well. You know chocolate chip cookies bags that say on the side “Made in factories with peanuts” My son eats them. The other parents would not let their kids eat.
      Maybe they went thru it and take no chances, and we’ve just been lucky
      I do know a pen has followed him since kindergarten. One at home also.

      Never used it except one time I almost stabbed myself. LOL
      I didn’t want to just throw in garbage so I thought I would discharge.
      I have this really thick garbage can and put my knee against it and jabbed the top. That damned thing comes out about 2 inches and missed my thigh by about 1/2 inch. LOL
      If it would have hit me I would have had a 3 car in stead of 2 car garage I figure, and probably painted the house. LOL


  6. but what a great boon this invention is…this is a miracle.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks-glad to hear everyone likes it–hopefully can get this going-Michael


  8. Is there any progress on this? Is it in production?

    Liked by 1 person

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