Asthma inhalers have largely had the same design for a very long time, and for good reason: they’re relatively lightweight and small, and can be slipped into a pocket. Still, they’re highly conspicuous and no one likes to pull them out in public for an impromptu puff; as well, having to carry it around is burdensome if it is reserved for the rare occasional asthma attack rather than daily use. That’s where this new ultra-slim inhaler prototype comes in.
Called the Bloom Inhaler, this asthma inhaler prototype holds six puffs of aerosol asthma medication and is small enough to fit in a card slot in an ordinary wallet. As such, asthmatics can carry the inhaler in the wallet they’re already carrying and have it for back up protection, allowing them to (safely) leave their regular inhaler at home.
An ordinary asthma inhaler involves an “L”-shaped based and an aerosol canister that is inserted within it. When the canister is depressed downward, it sprays the medication which the user them inhales. Bloom Inhaler works similarly, but instead holds a smaller does of the medication in a smaller body.
The user inserts the regular inhaler’s canister into Bloom’s matching port and depresses it six times, loading six doses into the slim inhaler. A hermetic seal prevents it from leaking back out, says the company. When the inhaler is needed, the user depresses the upper button and inhales the medication like normal (shown below). Bloom features a so-called “open mouth” design. Bloom’s description of the open mouth technique is as follows:
The “Open Mouth Technique” is similar to using a breath spray. Press and inhale through the opening, just as you would with your current inhaler. This technique is clinically proven to be equally effective at delivering precise doses deep into the lungs.
The inhaler measures 54mm across and 85mm long, and is 4.3mm thick — that’s the thickness of about 5 ordinary credit cards. A small meter is located at the bottom, while the inhaler itself is constructed from reinforced steel. The inhaler works with any HFA inhalers, and has been tested extensively. According to the website, the company anticipates getting FDA approval for the unit this upcoming November.
When it does launch (assuming it gets approval), the inhaler will cost $40 USD. The website currently lists Bloom’s pre-orders as “coming soon,” though it doesn’t provide a timeframe or date (presumably it would start after approval is received).