Two engineering students from Bangalore, Arjun BS and Ajay Krishnan A, are the national winners of the prestigious James Dyson Award 2022 for their unique innovation EpiSHOT. It is a reusable medical device for patients suffering from a severe and potentially fatal systemic allergic reaction that occurs suddenly after contact with an allergen.
Arjun is a PhD scientist and Ajay is a project assistant in the Biomedical and Electronic Engineering Systems Laboratory (BEES LAB), led by Prof. Hardik J Pandya of the Department of Electronic Systems Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore. The national winners, Arjun BS and Ajay Krishnan A, will receive a prize money of around Rs 4.6 lakhs.
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Using the prize money, the national winners aim to further customize EpiSHOT for commercialization and improve the product’s manufacturability, reliability and portability, while reducing the cost of the device. The duo will also represent India in the international round where the eventual winners will be chosen by Sir James Dyson. The international shortlist will be announced on October 1 and the international winners on November 16.
“The winning innovation is a single hand-operated auto-injector for the intramuscular or subcutaneous delivery of emergency medications to treat life-threatening situations such as anaphylaxis with the ability to reload and sterilize for reuse within two minutes of first use,” reads the official release.
“Allergies are common among the Indian population, but no one believes that a simple allergic reaction can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. To date, India has no immediate solution to anaphylaxis, which is predominant among the 20 to 40 age group,” Arjun says.
“Due to the existing market monopolies, the enormous price tags of single-use auto-injectors and concerns about safety for self-use, there remains a greater need for a safe and cost-effective solution. EpiSHOT wants to bridge this gap. The challenge of developing such a much-needed device was given to us by Dr. Paramesh H, a pediatric pulmonologist who had spent decades trying to popularize epinephrine as an emergency medication. We are confident that the James Dyson Award will be our platform to gain recognition, educate and massively deliver our life-saving innovation,” he added.
“EpiSHOT’s design went through multiple design iterations, with a few iterations made as prototypes. From adding a safety cap to the simple reusable, one-hand operated auto-injector to prevent accidental injection, to adding an automatic needle retraction mechanism to the design, from redesigning the spray pattern to avoid exposure to bodily fluids and more, multiple additions have been made to the basic design, over a hundred tests have been performed on tissue phantoms to ensure complete safety in use,” said Ajay. similar technologies compatible with intradermal (DermiSHOT), subcutaneous and intramuscular injections.
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