According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, 11.8 million children in the U.S. — one out of every 12 — has a food allergy. The prevalence of food allergies is increasing. A child in the U.S. has a potentially fatal anaphylactic allergic reaction every three minutes. Every six minutes a child with allergy-related anaphylaxis arrives at a hospital or urgent care center. Chip Dong Lim, a recent University of Washington, Seattle graduate has produced a compelling design concept for a multi-part system to prevent anaphylaxis in children. There is no actual product at this point, but the physical component designs, the monitoring and alert systems, and the concept are ready to go. A website for the product is all set and a professional-quality video presents the problem and the solution.
The system is called Aibi (pronounced “AayBee”). Components include an epinephrine auto-injector, a kid-friendly wearable that detects and alerts about on-coming anaphylactic reactions, and a medical emergency alert and response system that can put an adult in motion to administer the epinephrine injection. The Aibi website reports on a study of elementary school systems to determine current response systems for anaphylactic reactions. The company found that nurses are understaffed in schools, non-medical staff are often reluctant to take medical responsibility, and adrenaline auto-injectors (such as Epipens) aren’t widely available in “public spaces.”
The company determined a need to design a new auto-injector, stating that the current options are too hard for children to use and that the needles sometimes fail. Given the time-sensitive nature of anaphylaxis, the Aibi is designed to alert both children who wear the wristband and appropriate adult caregivers in the earliest stage of anaphylaxis.
The wearable uses light-sensitive photodiodes to measure histamine levels. When impending anaphylaxis is detected, the wearable alerts the child wearing it. Alert information about the child, the time, and the location also transmit to the appropriate caregiver network where the information is received and diplayed on smartphone apps. The auto-injector, which the Aibi designer envisions being located in central spaces similar to defibrillator units, holds a disposable cartridge with two doses of epinephrine. According to Aibi, the National Food Allergy guidelines recommend two doses available at all times for high-risk patients. The auto-injector illuminates and plays a distinctive tone during an anaphylaxis alert. Once someone grabs it instructions are displayed on the injector’s label.
The Aibi system is all about timely response to anaphylaxis alerts. This is a solution that begs for someone to take the idea and turn it into a successful business.