Needle phobia device a design winner


COVID or whatever, who even knew trypanophobia was a thing, right?

For most people, the unsettling sight of something so sharp pointed straight at them while they wait to be bitten is quite unpleasant. Not to mention the nasty little sting that often turns blue.

Yet, for one in ten people, a real psychiatric fear of needles is real.

Enter NeedleCalm, an innovative medical technology designed to reduce the pain and anxiety associated with injections, whether directed to the arms, abdomen, buttocks or thighs.

Its Australian makers estimate that the device, which takes advantage of a natural process called “pain control theory,” can be used in more than 60% of the 128 million needle procedures performed each year.

Applied like a bandage to the patient’s skin at the puncture site, it creates a wider sensation that blocks the sharp pain of a needle as it enters the body.

Described as “a steroid dressing”, NeedleCalm has been in development for over four years.

Still, all the hard work was worth it, according to product founder Lauren Barber, with the TGA-approved invention announced this week as the category winner at the 2021 Good Design Awards.

Ms Barber came up with the idea for NeedleCalm while working as a registered nurse and saw firsthand how common trypanophobia is and how it slows down the healthcare system.

She then decided to act after she had to undergo surgery due to a needle stick injury.

She wasn’t sure how relevant this would become with the onset of the pandemic.

“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to help Australia close the door on COVID-19, especially from the perspective of helping to immunize children in a safer, faster and less stressful way for them. children, parents and doctors, ”Ms. Barber said.

“However, COVID is only a minor part of the potential for improving long-term healthcare use and efficiency, with NeedleCalmTM potentially being used in approximately 76 million needle procedures in Australia each. year.”

The Good Design Awards jury hailed NeedleCalm as “a positive approach to overcoming a common problem”.

“The device’s unobtrusive aesthetics and its similarity to a sticky bandage can aid absorption, and the technique of activating alternative pain receptor pathways is also smart,” they said.

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