A new ultra-thin reinforced steel inhaler could revolutionise how asthma sufferers carry their medication, with a design that is stylish and safe
For the world’s 334 million asthma sufferers, their inhaler is something they need to carry with them all day, every day, and yet with all our modern technology, the design of this vital piece of equipment has remained unchanged for 40 years. Now, a mechanical engineering student in New York is setting out to change that.
“I grew up with close family and friends who were severely asthmatic,” says James Cazzoli, mechanical engineering student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and creator of the Bloom inhaler. “I want to give some independence back to asthmatics by redesigning the inhaler to completely defer to the user.”
“I want to give some independence back to asthmatics by redesigning the inhaler to completely defer to the user.”
Bloom is approximately 8.5cm long by 5.4cm wide. It acts as a portable accompaniment to the traditional inhaler, allowing the user to store six doses of medication in their wallet for use in an emergency. Cazzoli hopes that this will mean users will forget their inhaler less, and it will mean it can be carried and used more conveniently and more discreetly.
Made of reinforced steel, the inhaler essentially acts as a portable version of the traditional inhaler metal canister, and does away with the cumbersome and unhygienic plastic mouthpiece. Stainless steel is more hygienic, as it lacks the breaks and pores that could harbour germs or dirt, and it is also resistant to physical impacts and corrosion.
The inhaler is hermetically sealed, to avoid medication leaking out and administers medicine with the clinically proven ‘open mouth technique’.
Steel was the best choice for Cazzoli and his growing team of medical advisors and FDA regulatory experts. Being both medically safe and strong, steel enables Bloom to function as a pressurised aerosol, while also allowing for a slim line design. The Bloom is as thick as five credit cards and can easily fit in a pocket or wallet.
Bloom is currently being tested to ensure it complies with the FDA’s medical device requirements before it goes on sale. In the meantime, the design is one of 20 innovations put forward to win the international James Dyson Award 2016, the winner of which will be announced in November.