How Biopreme Medical Technologies Designed a Less-Painful Needle

No one likes getting injections, and kids are especially susceptible to the fear and anxiety that come with routine or medically necessary shots.

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Photograph courtesy of Biopreme Medical Technologies.

Chemainus-based Mark Syme and a small team at Biopreme Medical Technologies have spent the past decade redesigning the traditional hypodermic needle to deliver less pain with its poke.

The Challenge

To reduce pain while effectively delivering medication, a needle should reach an optimal subcutaneous depth of three millimetres in a stabilized injection site. Working backwards from this protocol, Syme and Dr. Aleksandr Kavokin, a Yale-trained physician based in Russia, designed a suction tube controlled by a squeeze bulb that draws the flesh gently toward a hidden micro-needle.

“We went into the customer discovery process with open eyes,” says Syme. “We realized that a very viable niche [for] pediatric applications would be something to focus on.”

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The Result

With support from famous U.S. physician Patch Adams and mid-Island tech organization Innovation Island, Biopreme has raised $200,000 in grassroots funding and is working with StarFish Medical to bring the Effi-Q syringe adaptor to market. Though a release date and price are pending, Syme says each adaptor will be sold for less than a dollar.

Added benefits of the new design include improved safety for medical personnel through a lowered risk of needle prick incidents and blood spatter.

This article is from the August/September 2018 issue of Douglas.