Rheumatoid arthritis is a joint-swelling disease that can be a real pain. Aside from dealing with the discomfort itself, patients often have to inject themselves with medicine, adding to the pain.
That could become a little less bothersome with an auto-injector concept that warms the drugs to body temperature so they flow more easily.
The Aira by product development firm Cambridge Consultants is a reusable injector that patients can use at home to help treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and other illnesses that require biologic drugs.
These genetically engineered proteins usually have to be refrigerated before use, and can be viscous, making the weekly or monthly injections slow and painful.
Aira automatically warms the drug to body temperature in less than a minute. The drug can then be injected more quickly; it can cut injection times by up to 30 percent, according to the firm.
The gadget features an easy-grip design and a push-button mechanism to prime and inject the drug. People who feel queasy with needles will like the fact that the syringe is loaded with the cap on and is then concealed inside Aira.
It also has a display showing the current temperature of the drug, and audible and tactile cues telling users what to do.
While injections have traditionally been administered by a nurse, more and more patients with rheumatoid arthritis are doing it themselves. The device could also be used with cancer treatments in the future.
Cambridge Consultants plans to show off Aira at a PDA Europe event focused on injection devices in Basel, Switzerland, early next month.