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New devices reduce needle anxiety

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis are just three of the many conditions that require some people to self-inject. For many, training is no more than one session with a nurse, teaching technique on a piece of fruit or a pillow. But new medical training devices can help patients gain confidence as they care for themselves or loved ones.

Little Aniyah Jackson is right at home playing doctor, she sees them a lot. Aniyah has Turner’s yndrome: a genetic condition that stunts growth.

“Having a small child is not a bad thing, but it can affect them later with osteoporosis, affect the growth of their organs,” said Aniyah’s mother Anne Marie Jackson.

Aniyah’s doctor prescribed an injected growth hormone. Once a day, until she’s 14.

Anne said, “Over the course of that time, it’s going to be over 4,000 times I have to put a needle in her. It was daunting and scary. I cried. A lot.”

Now, newly designed training devices like this injection pen take patients through the process. They mimic the feel and force of injections without a real needle, and without breaking the skin.

“There’s an initial deformation when the skin is relaxing,” explained Joe Reynolds, Research Manager at Noble International, Inc.

It’s that agitation on the skin that catches patients off guard.

Reynolds explained, “Patients want to remove it before the injection is finished.”

Meaning patients may not be getting all of the medication. Researchers say after two weeks of home training, patients gain muscle memory. The process and the sensation become second nature. After more than a year of injections, Anne and Aniyah have a routine, but Anne says a training device at the very start would have been a huge help.

“We don’t have a medical background and we should always feel confident,” said Anne.

Noble works with several major pharmaceutical companies to develop the training devices along with the drugs that need to be injected. Patients can also ask their doctors to request these devices.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising and Field Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.