‘PC Load Letter’? What the Hell Does That Mean? I’m Having a Heart Attack!!!!!!
It’s not quite Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy’s hypospray, but it’s close. Hewlett-Packard researchers have developed a medical patch that uses a modified version of the thermal inkjet technology found in the company’s printers to painlessly deliver medication to patients.
The transdermal patch uses thousands of microneedles to inject drugs just below the skin without hitting pain receptors (a vast improvement over dot-matrix printer patches, which hit all of them at once). And it can be programmed to deliver specific dosages on a preselected schedule. It could, for example, monitor a patient’s cardiovascular system and adjust drug dosages to maintain a constant blood pressure. “The programmable part [of the patch] comes from HP’s inkjet technology, where we could program to fire different nozzles for ink, and we repurposed that for firing drugs,” Lim Eng Hann, associate director of HP’s Asia-Pacific IP Licensing Center, told ZDnet. Added John O’Dea, CEO of Crospon, a medical-device company in Ireland that will manufacture the patch: “We believe it’s an industry first to be able to deliver multiple drugs through a single patch with microneedles.”
The patch is at least a few years away from market. But when it finally arrives it may well revolutionize the drug-delivery arena–and perhaps even the market for OEM printer cartridges …