A small Israeli company is working on what we see as a hypochondriac’s dream Pez dispenser, a cheap and effective drug inhaler for the masses. aespironics has teamed up with a chemistry professor, who specializes in drug atomization, and with a wind turbine researcher to create a breath activated inhaler that promises to deliver the pharmaceutical to the lungs with minimal loss.
A tiny breath-activated turbine inside the inhaler beats at a mesh packet with sieve-like holes, which contains the drug particles. This activity releases all the particles into the air at the same time, which conveys the medication directly into the lungs. Because the turbine is activated via breathing, no expensive electrical additions are necessary as they are in other inhalers of the same class.
The product is now beyond proof-of-concept and Aespironics is manufacturing working models for external testing by potential partners. This testing is due to begin by the end of the year, and if all goes well, the product could be out on the market in three years.
The efficacy of the Aespironics inhaler is such that it could replace injections – which would make life much easier for Type I diabetics, who need regular injected doses of insulin.
Currently, only top of the line dry powder inhalers deliver medication efficiently into the lungs; more commonly used inhalers leave drug particles clinging inside the oral cavity, which can lead to negative side effects. Another drawback to cheap inhalers is that because of their inefficiency at conveying the medication to the lungs, it’s difficult to calculate accurate dosage.