Are you afraid of needles? There could be a new product in the near future that will curb your fear.
As designers, we constantly have our eye on new technologies and products entering the market. The healthcare industry, in particular, has seen a dramatic change in what technology can do to shape the future of medicine.
An Australian company is developing a piece of nanotechnology that could allow for pain-free vaccinations. The one centimeter-by-one-centimeter square vaccine is a revolutionary vaccine delivery system, created by Vaxxas, called the Nanopatch™. It uses thousands of vaccine-coated pins that perforate into the skin. The Nanopatch™ delivers the vaccine to abundant immune cells in the skin, whereas the traditional syringe hits the muscle where there are few immune cells.
Application of the Nanopatch™ to the skin is a pain-free method of vaccine delivery and has been shown in preclinical studies to result in a protective immunogenic response, using as little as one hundredth of the dose required by a conventional needle and syringe.
Vaxxas, formed in 2011, is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to conduct the first human studies of the vaccination technology in 2015 and 2016. The company will need to undertake multiple stages of clinical trials before the product will be on the market – which could take 2+ years.
If all works as planned, it will be worth the wait. In addition to improving the efficiency of delivery, the Nanopatch™ has the potential to dramatically improve patient convenience and reduce the complications associated with needle phobia, needle stick injuries and cross contamination, which are key global health issues.
Check out the video below and learn more about the Nanopatch™ here.