with Lulu McRoberts

duration: 10 weeks

An Epinephrine
Auto-Injection System.

The Brief— Create a product that helps users in a stressful problem space. 

Winner of the 2019 GRAY Magazine Design Award: Student Category

Severe Allergies

Severe allergies are becoming increasingly common throughout the world. Some common food allergens are peanuts, eggs, and shellfish.

32 Million People

10% of the US population has a food allergy. The number of people with allergies, and the severity of those allergies are increasing every year.





Every year there are 200,000+ hospitalizations requiring medical care related to severe allergies.
Every year there are 200,000+ hospitalizations requiring medical care related to severe allergies.

The Research Phase

What can we learn from the people closest to the problem: those with severe allergies as well as medical professionals?
What problems exist? What is ecosystem of allergic reactions? How can we as designers help?

Initial Thoughts

We started by exploring different forms, carrying methods, and product systems, before starting the research phase.
We wanted to know more about the people with severe allergies and their relationships with their medication before continuing any further.
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Existing Products

ugly, bulky, bold colors, diy


filleted corners, minimal color, medical

Storrie leaves his EpiPens at home.

“My EpiPens are too big for me to carry around in my pocket. It’s really dangerous to leave them behind, but I do it anyway.”
“The only time I needed my EpiPen was when I didn’t have it. I was lucky I was close to a hospital and with my family.

Chet is an EMT

People with allergies are bad historians. EMTs need to know when, where and how much epinephrine is administered.

Survey Findings

107 responses—conducted on reddit /r/severeallergies


Current epinephrine auto-injectors are too big to carry without a bag. The post-allergic reaction environment is severely stressful and could benefit from systems design. Clear and concise communications with medical professionals and family are most important.
administration device too big
post reaction ecosystem
medical + family communications

How Might We—

Create an epinephrine auto-injector system that is small enough to carry, while still providing necessary information to both the user and the medical professionals

New Directions

We considered a new injector system to shrink the device. We also embraced the pen semantic and considered a replace-able epinephrine cartridges to reduce overall cost. Lastly we worked on how the device will connect with the user (IoT)
How can we create an IoT system?
What are the most important features for the connected app?
How can we reduce the overall size?
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-  smaller rectangular form
-  formal arrow to direct injection
-  thumb button injector
-  pants clip


1  thumb button injector
2  emphasized direction
3  cavity for injector
4  cap semantics 
5  significantly smaller

Final Direction

An epinephrine auto-injector system that is smaller, simpler, and more connected to the user and medical professionals.
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Every day, people with severe allergies choose to risk their lives by leaving their EpiPens at home, simply because they’re too big—
They shouldn't have to...

Small + Connected

PREPI is 25% smaller than EpiPen and exists in a connected system ecosystem. 

Quick Access

Removing the PREPI pings your phone with an emergency notification. Un-cap PREPI and it’s ready to go. 

Emergency Allergy Services

After using PREPI, immediately notify paramedics, locate the nearest hospital, and notify loved ones through the app. 

Background Features

The connected app also helps connect the users to their prescription services, and allergy log, and reminds users to re-administer epinephrine if their anaphalaxis persists to 10 minutes.

New Injector + Safe Needles

The new injector is a CO2 system instead of a spring. All internal hardware are standard sizing reducing the overall price of manufacturing.
Pressing the internal casing against a thigh activates the CO2 canister. The pressure injects the needle and depresses the syringe. A counter spring then lifts the needle permanently back into the main housing of the PREPI.

Instruction Graphics

The instruction graphics for PREPI have been minimized to only that which is necessary. Larger pictures and gradients indicate use and needle direction. 
An Epinephrine
Auto-Injection System.