Needle-free Injection System: A light bearer in the fight against the thick darkness of COVID-19
The apocalyptic images of the COVID-19 induced locked-down world are heart wrenching. All healthcare related domains are being created at a rapid rate. Around the world, the coronavirus pandemic is overstretching health services and reportedly more than 40 companies have boosted their R&D efforts to hit the bulls eye and deliver the much awaited vaccines to the mass. But here comes the twist, developing vaccine is like solving one part of the big puzzle, followed by development comes the challenge of administering the vaccine. Drop the beat, and here comes the decades old pain saver technology a.k.a. needle-free injection system. The device that was initially used for administration of morphine, later underwent multiple improvements, which made its use more efficient, secure, and more dependable.
So, what’s wrong with the conventional injection systems? The limitations are countless and highly bothering. Count some major hurdles as listed; health care workers are constantly at a risk of acquiring serious diseases due to needlestick injuries. According to the World Health report, more than 3 million occupation-related percutaneous injuries are reported annually, worldwide. Needles contaminated with bodily fluids of patients may accidently prick healthcare workers and contaminants / pathogens may get transferred. Such injuries may occur while drawing blood, administering intravenous drugs, disposing used needles, handling medical waste and performing numerous other routine procedures. Needlestick injuries are known to be responsible for the transmission of a variety of blood-borne diseases, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV / AIDS). These are some of the well-known diseases but now one deadly virus adds to this existing list. Yes, you guessed it right, the world’s common nightmare, COVID-19. Imagine getting infected with the virus through any means while administering the vaccine. No, you don’t want to imagine, no one would. This needle-free injection system can be the blessings you can sought in hard time like this.
There are almost 40 developers in this domain, with 59% of them being in North America and 28% in Europe, while rest of them are based in the Asia-Pacific region. Nearly 70% of the devices that are marketed / being developed are designed for multiple administrations; these devices are primarily used for delivery of fixed dose of drug at regular intervals. Almost 35% of these devices are designed to administer vaccines, which is a huge advantage while looking from the lens of COVID-19.
Needle free injection technology harnesses the energy required to propel a preset dose of a given drug formulation, which is loaded in unique cassettes provided with the system. Upon administration, an ultrafine stream of fluid penetrates and delivers the formulation to the desired layer of the skin in a fraction of a second. The whole event of the injection process takes less than 0.5 second to complete and this time is really crucial if we imagine vaccinating millions with COVID-19 vaccines.
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