Veta Smart Case by Aterica looks very promising for allergy sufferers.
I am a father of 3, and a board certified Family Medicine Physician. Even with my training, allergies can be a scary problem to tackle. My 4 year old was formally diagnosed with allergy to egg, peanut and a plethora of other foods and environmental allergens, when he was about 2 years old. The truth is, his mother and I diagnosed him at about the age of 1 based on reactions, rashes and assessment. He now receives allergy shots 1-2x per week, still cannot eat eggs, but is tolerating some of the foods to which he has allergy. Here is the best advice I can give as a father, listen to your doctors, listen to your allergists, listen to the medical community. Allergies can be deadly! I have seen this first hand through my job. They can find you when you are alone, when you feel safe and when you don’t have your needed medications or other people around to help you. What good is a medication if it is not there when you need it? Aterica, the makers of Veta smart case, wants to be there, wants to make sure that you have this medication, wants to help you even when you are alone.
Who knows the symptoms of anaphylaxis? Who has seen or known someone with a life threatening allergy? Odds are, someone around you has a problem like this. Whether it is a food allergy, environmental allergy, allergy to the Hymenopteran insects (bees, ants, wasps) someone may need our help. Common symptoms of anaphylaxis include breathing difficulty, wheezing, lower blood pressure (feeling feint or the person may be unconscious), itchy skin (hives, raised red welts), swelling of eyes, lips, tongue, hands/feet, nausea and maybe vomiting. These can be severe enough to prevent a person from breathing, from dropping the heart rate and the blood pressure enough that the brain does not get adequate blood/oxygen and one passes out. If alone and without help, this may prove fatal.
Who knows what an EpiPen is(short for epinephrine)? Epinephrine is often referred to as adrenaline. As a medication, it serves to counteract the effects of allergic response by increasing heart rate (blood to the brain and organs), keeping blood pressure stable (allergic responses often cause blood vessels to dilate and Blood pressure to fall), relaxes the lungs allowing for easier breathing, it can also reduce allergic rash/Hives. Unfortunately the half life of epinephrine is short. This is part of the reason that people are given and recommended to carry 2 pens with them. It is recommended if you have to use your EpiPen, to seek care in a place like the Emergency room for further assessment. Do not delay!
Aterica is not a manufacturer of a medication, rather they have developed an assistive smart case device; Epipen has the epinephrinne market pretty well covered. Veta is a smart case designed to help Epipen to be with you at all times. Again, what good is a medication if you left it at home? The Veta is brought to you by the company Aterica (they told me “like America but with a T”) after finding a need in the community for such a device.
The case is designed to hold your epinephrine auto injector (currently supporting EpiPen injectors only). There is an included green/yellow top, with each case, to differentiate between childhood and adult dosing (talk with your doctor about appropriate dose/use of medication). In addition to a smart case, Veta is also an app. This app runs on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and android. The app connects your much needed medication to your needed circle of support. Using user created notifications and settings, the idea is the individual has increased self carry, and better access to medications through reminders and alerts. There are many features of the app/case combo.
The Findme feature activates a flashing light and an audio pinging sound (support for those with visible or auditory difficulty) to help you remember where the device was placed. The app remembers the last known location of the case, so you can find it quickly. Separation alerts can be created between the smart case and mobile device. If you get too far away from the case, the app triggers a phone notification reminding you that you do not have your medication. This is incredibly powerful. My wife notes that she often forgets the EpiPen and cannot get the allergy shots without it. Also, this can alert others in your circle (think parents for teenagers/children) that the medication is not with the person.
There is an auto removal alert, which sends notification to others when the case is opened. Not only does it broadcast that the case is open, it also sends location information to everyone in your preset private support circle. It has temperature sensors, to help you monitor high and low temperatures. This does not regulate temperature, however. This is important to note, as epinephrine does not have to be refrigerated, but does need to stay relatively cool (not freezing). The app has an expiration date reminder, which is self explanatory. The neatest feature is the support circles feature. Here, people are organized into support circles. Notifications can be sent to people in these circles, whether it be a parent or guardian (child is at school and school nurse has to use the device), a health care professional, or other family member. You define the private circle (parents, friends, neighbor, teacher, coach, doctor etc) and the level of information/notification. You get to share how much or how little they know, how much information they receive.
If it just did the above actions, it would be awesome. But, there is yet more that this device has to share. It is UV-protected, protecting your medication, while out and about. The case is transparent, allowing you to see the medication and to see the expiration date. It is amazing that the developers thought of these details. Overall, the app has fast, single touch access to those people in your private circle and your emergency contacts. It has GPS and other location services, which can notify you of your location and to alert others to your location. This technology allows help to arrive where you are or to help manage the process from where they are located. This does not immediately alert rescue services, this is not a medical device. These may be features that are available in the future. For now this is already leaps and bounds above current systems.
This app/case combo will help those with allergies and their families dearly. For those of you who do not know much about the medication, how to give it or simply have questions, the app provides video/training information on correct medication usage. Again, this may help someone who is uncertain or is less willing to help, step up to the plate. Other app features are being developed to help with “mom-approved” shopping lists, scanning barcodes, food photos, nearest open pharmacy/hospital and trip planning.
The system does run on batteries, standard AAA style (included with purchase). These are ubiquitous, easy to find and have good weight to charge ratio. The guidelines support changing batteries when your medication expires. Yes, that means no charging, no cords to deal with and it is ready for you when you need it. The devices are linked by Bluetooth Low Energy. There is end to end encryption and when tracking the device, through your phone, only you can find the location. See, Aterica even thought about this and protects your family further.
One common question is about a twin Veta smart case. Most medical professionals recommend you have 2 pens with you. There is currently no twin pack, but each app can support up to 8 individual cases. This is not unreasonable. If you have 2 pens together and you lose the duo, you now have 0 pens. This way you know where all of your pens are individually. The device is very reasonably priced, currently offered for $59.00 for one. You can purchase these for preorder on aterica.com. I am not certain when these will be available, but was told approximately mid year 2016.
I believe in this company. As a father with a child with food allergies, one with two EpiPen Jr. pens, and as a family medicine physician, who treats families with similar issues, this is a product that I would love to promote. I do want to make you aware that there is a very small subscription fee, to manage all of the data through the app. However, this is very reasonable. One year is included free with the purchase of the case. Otherwise it is $24.00 per year for 1, $33.60 for 2, $43.20 for 3, and $48.00 for 4 or more. Preorders of this device allow for up to 30% off pricing, 24 month coverage with purchase, free shipping to US and Canada and updates on prices and new features/products. For as little as $1 per smart case per month, you have piece of mind to know that others are there, if you need them, and Aterica is there to help you get the help you need. I cannot wait for this product, I wish I had it right now for my son.