Problem: The imperative of getting people life-saving vaccines faces daunting practical challenges including distribution, cold chain requirements and need for medical staff to administer the vaccines. There are the secondary challenges of used medical needles including millions of infections like Hepatitis B and AIDS and the significant environmental waste from billions of syringes and needles.
1. A company based in the Netherlands, Bioneedle, has invented a new vaccine delivery system that may ultimately provide a new and safe alternative vaccination system.
2. At its core, the Bioneedle technology is a hollow, polymer needle-shaped mini-implant. When inserted, the polymer degrades, dissolves beneath the skin and releases the vaccine.
3. It is inserted at high speeds using a compressed air driven Bioneedle Applicator- pain-free and safely. There is NO waste.
4. The Bioneedle is “therm stable” thereby eliminating the onerous need to maintain vaccines at specific temperatures to keep stable.
5. The environmental benefits are enormous in both waste and energy savings.
6. As opposed to traditional vaccines, bioneedles can be given to more than thousand people per hour by non-medical staff.
Although in the early stages of development, Bioneedle was the winner of the 2012 Katerva Award.
1. World Health organizations/foundations. This would be a transformative technology that would extend vaccinations to millions of underserved people.
2. Doctors/clinics. In addition to reaching more people, the health and environmental aspects of having no needle or syringe waste is a game-changer.
3. General public. Bioneedles is especially needed in third world countries /rural areas where doctors are not available and the “cold chain” to preserve vaccines may be comprised.
1. Prove out the technology through pilots and other mechanisms.
2. Production of vaccines.
3. Distribution and training. Scale the model to maximize benefits.
http://www.earth911.com/living-well-being/health/zero-waste-vaccine-bioneedles/ and website at http://www.bioneedle.com (I needed to get information from the website to more fully explore this breakthrough application).