Kitchener-Waterloo

Veta EpiPen smart case sends alerts when device is used

People with deadly allergies are used to carrying EpiPens, but it can be easy to forget the devices. A new smart case created by a Waterloo company aims to fix that problem.
The Veta Epi-pen case and app can alert users. (Aterica)

People with deadly allergies are used to carrying EpiPens, but it can be easy to forget the devices, to lose them or have them expire without noticing.

Aterica, a Waterloo, Ont.-based company, wants to make it easy to find and track EpiPens, and alert others in a person's support network when a pen is used through a system called Veta. EpiPens deliver epinephrine through injection to someone who is suffering from anaphylaxis. 

Veta is a smart case to hold the pen, an app for iOS and Android and a cloud-based support system to make it easier to deal with serious allergies and EpiPen use. 

It's the brainchild of Aterica co-founders Alex Leyn and Mike Fisher. 

"An EpiPen is a life-saving medicine and a life-saving device, but it's useless if you don't have it with you," said Leyn. 

The Veta smart case is similar in size to a regular EpiPen case, but has a ton of features that include notifications if the pen is approaching its expiry date and sending alerts to pre-selected others when an EpiPen is used. 

"It's completely configurable by the individual,"said Leyn. "It can notify a child's parents, mom can be notified, a teacher in the school can be notified, 911 can be dispatched even directly if that's appropriate."

Those notifications are sent when the case is opened, but the smart case also has an emergency standby button which a person can press if needed. If the person collapses, the case will issue voice warnings that alert bystanders to an allergic reaction, and can do so in two languages if a person is travelling.

The case also includes temperature sensors to warn if you're reaching a threshold that will be damaging to the medicine and uses Bluetooth Smart to deliver those notifications to a mobile device. 

"If you forget it, as soon as you're separated from your EpiPen you get notified that that occurs, and you have a chance to go back and grab it," said Leyn. 

Not only does the case interact with a smartphone, but users can activate the find function through the app, which prompts the case to flash and emit loud sounds. 

Veta will be available in fall of 2015

The Veta smart case was unveiled earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where it was awarded an editors' choice award for 2015 by Popular Mechanics.

Leyn says Aterica is currently taking pre-orders for Veta, which they're selling with a two-year subscription to the app and cloud service for US $59. 

Once the pre-order period closes, Leyn says the price is likely to increase, and the case will be available with a one-year subscription. 

But from what he's heard so far, people are interested in his product. 

"It's the comments our customers have sent us directly, in the pre-orders our customers have placed, it's highly motivating, to say the least." said Leyn.

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