Emergency epinephrine injector incorporates visual and audio usage instructions

Intelliject's Auvi-Q auto-injector wins an award from ISMP and points to a future of more self-administered injections

The Auvi-Q auto-injector (branded as Allerject in Canada), and FDA-approved last January, has won the 2013 George DiDomizio Industry Award from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP; ismp.org), for its potential to prevent medication errors and adverse events. The product, intended for emergency use during allergic shock (anaphylaxis), has microprocessor-controlled audible and visual cues, intended to help the user (or a caregiver) to properly administer the dosage. “We designed the device using human factors engineering to be used in situations where a person’s life may depend on its proper use and where the person using the device may never have seen it previously,” says Neil Hughes, chief commercial officer.

These electronic cues are battery-powered; however, delivery of the drug is mechanical and doesn’t require the electronics. The device will provide instructions even if the battery wears down. In testing, the company found that people who have not been trained on the device, successfully used it on the first attempt over 90% of time. Hughes indicates, “The interactive cues are not timed. If you miss a step, the device repeats the instructions until you do the step correctly. If you are experienced with the process, you can jump forward in the instructions, and the device keeps up with you and knows where you are.” For example, when the device gives an audio instruction to remove the red safety guard, a light simultaneously flashes to show you where the guard is.

“With more and more healthcare delivery happening outside the direct supervision of healthcare professionals, there is increasing emphasis on the usability of drug/device combination products,” said Mark Licata, VP of industrialization at Intelliject, in a press statement. Sanofi has exclusive commercial rights to market the Auvi-Q and Allerject in North America. For its part, Intelliject has three other products in Phase I-III development, and an intellectual-property portfolio of 41 issued patents, and 60 pending.