Innovators: Aerospace & Technology
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Her Best Shot
Development: “I’ve been really humbled by the amount of people who have contacted us with ideas about how the product can work.”
Six years ago, Kim Bertron and her 10-year-old daughter, who has type I diabetes, were on a beach vacation. “Just a typical morning,” Bertron remembers, “no warning.”
Her daughter suddenly had a seizure, requiring Bertron to mix glucagon powder in a diluting solution, draw it into a syringe and inject it; it can’t be made ahead of time and held for use. Bertron had been through the harrowing experience twice before, but this seizure was far worse. She recalls shaking as she mixed the solution. She broke the needle on the vial. Fortunately, she had another needle in her car.
Upon returning to her Tallahassee home, she sought a way to prevent herself and others from having to play pharmacist in a crisis. She and Tallahassee patent lawyer J. Wiley Horton and Brian Boothe, a North Carolina engineer Horton put her in touch with, invented SimpleShot, a chambered syringe that mixes the drug with a push of the finger and then injects it. The trio’s creation came in second behind the grand prize winner in the History Channel’s Modern Marvels invention competition. The three are in talks with a medical device company to manufacture it.
Bertron’s daughter, now 16, is on an insulin pump and hasn’t suffered a seizure since that vacation. Says Bertron, 44, “I’m just a mom trying to solve a problem.”