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PiOna concept needle could ease infertility injections

This auto-injector hides the needle in a device that gives women user feedback. It could reduce injection times by 30 percent.

Cambridge Consultants

If you're the type who looks away when you get stuck with a needle, you may long for the day when "Star Trek"-style medical devices will painlessly flood our veins with every kind of drug imaginable.

For some women undergoing in vitro fertilization, daily intramuscular injections of progesterone in oil (PiO) can be painful and stressful. Infertility is already immensely taxing for some -- researchers have shown it can generate levels of anxiety and depression on a par with those from cancer, heart disease, and HIV.

Progesterone helps carry the pregnancy to term, but sometimes must be injected up to 70 times. PiOna is a concept auto-injector from Cambridge Consultants that not only hides the icky thing from sight, but provides feedback about when the 1.5-inch needle is ready to use and guides the user through the process.

The company says the device can reduce the duration of injections by up to 30 percent, and could be used for a variety of other drugs as well.

The PiOna injector warms the progesterone to make it less viscous, and gives the user audio and visual signals about the progress of the injection. The company says it's looking for a commercial partner to bring the PiOna to market.

"Providing women with the confidence to administer a drug dosage without fear of unnecessary pain and stress will open doors to this technology platform being used in all manner of drug delivery," Cambridge Consultants senior industrial designer Lai Chiu Tang, seen in the demo vid below, said in a release.

"Improving the user experience will help women all over the world to gain access to health opportunities which were previously perceived to be unobtainable."