Epi-pens occupy an odd place in the life of a severe allergy sufferer. You might carry one around for months or years without needing to use it but if you do need it it will be absolutely crucial for you. The problem is remembering to have it and keeping it in date, accessible and at the right temperature. If the epipen is for a child or for someone with memory problems this gets even more difficult.
This is the problem that Aterica Digital Health is trying to solve with the Veta Epipen case. The basic idea is straightforward – pair the case with a mobile phone (Android and iOS) and if the two get out of range of each other sound an alarm on the phone but they’ve gone futher than this idea in the design and put in a number of other features. A ‘find me’ feature activated from the phone that sets off a light and ringer. A temperature sensor to make sure that the medicine stays fresh. If you do end up using the epipen the case will recognise that it has been opened and send alerts to a pre-defined list of people such as carers or family. Finally and very usefully once opened the case starts a countdown to the next actions you need to take and if you do not stop it manually will start calling for help from anyone nearby.
This all sounds great – although I do have concerns about the battery life. A smart case that has run out of charge is not that helpful – but is should not be too big a problem as most of the functions will only be needed very rarely.
The Veta will be available in Fall 2015 in the US and is available for pre-order today for $59 (£39). There is as of yet no UK release information.