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Image credit: Brandon Martin/Rice University

Syringe 'watch' puts a life-saving allergy shot on your wrist

It would be far easier to carry than a dedicated pen.
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Brandon Martin/Rice University

If you're prone to serious allergic reactions, carrying an epinephrine shot (such as an EpiPen) could be vital. Those shots are often bulky, though, and there's a real chance you could lose yours right before you need it. Students at Rice University have a (relatively) simple solution: put the shot on your wrist. They've developed a wearable, the EpiWear, that hides a foldable epinephrine syringe in a device not much larger than a watch. If you're in an emergency, you just need to unfold it, flick a safety lever and push a button when you're ready to inject the medicine into your thigh.

The team is keenly aware of safety concerns. The three-piece folding design makes it effectively impossible to trigger the needle by accident, and there are plans for a case that would prevent the button from touching anything until the shot is necessary.

EpiWear is still very young, to the point where it's made of 3D-printed parts. The students plan to refine it, however, including a smaller, more refined look that would be more acceptable on a night out. They're even considering adding watch functionality so that it does more than sit on your wrist in ordinary situations. Should it become a practical reality, you might not have to feel awkward about carrying a life-saving injection with you -- and you'd never have to worry about leaving it behind.

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