Paris-based healthcare startup, Lifeina, has developed the world’s smallest fridge which they believe will revolutionise the transportation of medication worldwide.
Called LifeinaBox, the device allows users to keep their heat-sensitive medication such as insulin, growth hormones, arthritis or multiple sclerosis medications, at exactly the right temperature while travelling.
As a professor of industrial design at the Auckland Technology University, Olaf is used to travelling on business trips with his insulin and keeping it cool using iceboxes and cooler bags, as the medication is sensitive to heat and should be stored at a temperature of between 2 and 8°C.
When he arrived at his Paris hotel room he saw there was no fridge in the room so he arranged for his insulin to be stored in the fridge of the kitchen. However due to miscommunication the insulin was stored in the freezer by accident, which meant he had to visit a night pharmacy to get fresh insulin. After relaying his experience to Uwe the idea for a portable fridge was born.
The brothers, who already had international reputations in the field of industrial design and healthcare, developed a rough prototype of the fridge that went on to win an industrial design contest run by NASA in the US as well as an award at the Concours Lépine in Paris in 2005.
Prior to starting Lifeina in September 2016, Uwe was the CEO of iHealthLabs Europe, a global leader in connected healthcare. He decided to step down from the position to give his undivided attention to what would become LifeinaBox.
“In 2003, my brother almost died following an incident where his medication was accidentally frozen in a hotel. So I started this company because of reasons that are more of a personal nature than just business,” said Uwe.
“Lifeina is for me the ultimate expression of innovation at the service of healthcare. With Lifeina we intend to make products that are designed by patients for patients so that we can give them the freedom to travel where and when they want, knowing that their medication is kept at exactly the right temperature,” continued Uwe.
Under Lifeina the award winning prototype evolved into LifeinaBox, a state-of-the-art device that uses a combination of thermoelectric energy and batteries that last up to 24 hours before it needs to be recharged. Operating on 110V or 220V or with a car cigarette lighter, LifeinaBox is environmentally friendly and contains no hazardous gases, tubes, coils or compressors.
An accompanying Lifeina app has also been developed for both iOS and Android devices. The app not only follows in real-time the temperature of medications, but also sends the user reminders of medication schedules to improve adherence.
LifeinaBox will be launched on Indiegogo on the 14th of September 2017 and is expected to cost €200.