A designer who works for Frog in San Francisco has redesigned the way the overdose drug, Naloxone, is dispensed to make it easier for people to use the lifesaving drug.
Jonathan Grossman realized the way the drug was dispensed was not practical after watching a training video on it. The Naloxone kit comes with seven different parts that have to be put together, then the person who is administering it has to remember to put half the dose in each nostril.
“I was watching this training video on how to use naloxone and I said, ‘That’s terrible!’ It’s an emergency situation going on,” Grossman told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Since in most cases the person who is closest to the one who is overdosing is going to be an addict as well, and to use the original design you need to be trained in how to put it together and administer it.
Even someone with a clear head is likely to have a hard time using Naloxone in a stressful situation, such as a Heroin overdose of someone they care about.
“There are too many caps,” Grossman said “Each component has a cap that covers the end, and in an emergency situation you have to pry off caps and nibs. And there’s a really precise collection to make between the atomizer cap and body. If it goes in at an angle, it’s common that the medicine sprays out the side.”
Grossman noticed that as people put it together they tend to but the glass vile with the medicine in their mouth, while doing this the vile can accidentally be cracked open.
San Francisco health officials are unsure if anyone has died from people not getting the proper dose, but they do have reports of the vials being broken.
During the design process Grossman realized a simple solution, two connected syringes that would administer the Naloxone in both nostrils at one time.
Next step he took was to make sure there was no physical reason why this hadn’t been done before, by testing it on himself.
Grossman used water to test his theory “It was totally fine,” he said. “You feel like you have a sore throat for a minute, and then it goes away.”
Grossman’s new design is simplified without a bunch of pieces to put together and it automatically administers the right Naloxone dose somewhat like an EpiPen.
According to the Director of Substance Use Research for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Philip Coffin, there are currently five versions of Naloxone.
The nasal device costs around $70 a kit, and two injectable generic forms of the drug at about $15 a dose.
Frog is currently looking for partners to help them get this new design out to the public.