Bold students invent wearable EpiPen for friend

HOUSTON, Texas (Ivanhoe Newswire) – An undergraduate class project could be medicine’s next big thing. Five students at Rice University created an EpiPen that you can wear on your wrist so that the medicine is always accessible for people with allergies.

When Albert Han began studying engineering at Rice University in Houston, he met a new group of friends. They clicked instantly.

“As we kind of got to know each other better and worked with each other more we were able to complement each other‘s strengths and weaknesses,” said Han.

So when one of the friends, Justin Tang, explained that he has a severe peanut allergy and that it’s bulky to carry an EpiPen everywhere, these friends put their mind to the task.

Deirdre Hunter, PhD, Lecturer of Engineering Design at Rice University Houston said, “I was like ok that’s bold and ambitious and  the scope of that project is pretty large.”

The idea was to create an injection device so portable that it could fit in a watch.

For weeks they worked on the design creating a prototype that could fold in three pieces. And when it finally came down to put it all together, EpiWear was born.

“That was a very I guess exciting moment for us because I guess coming from scratch, we didn’t actually expect anything to work, honestly,” Han said.

According to a 2018 survey published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, even though 89 percent of patients fill their prescriptions; only 44 percent said they actually carry epinephrine on them.

“Those first two moments of having an allergic reaction are like the most vital and critical,” said Deirdre.

Han hopes their device will change that statistic, helping thousands of people and one close friend.

The students plan to finalize their design and then apply for FDA approval. 

Contributors to this news report include: Breanna Molloy, Field Producer; Scott Toschlog, Videographer; Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Dave Harrison, Editor.