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The app that saves you from anaphylactic shock

Seriously, if you carry an EpiPen, you should look into this.

For many, allergies mean clogged nostrils and itchy skin. But for some, allergies can be dangerous and even life-threatening. People whose allergies pitch them into anaphylactic shock can die minutes after being exposed to, say, peanut butter.

These people carry around EpiPens, needles filled with adrenaline. When a sufferer is about to go into anaphylactic shock, she'll jam the EpiPen into herself to save her life. Unfortunately, it's hard to always have an EpiPen on you. People lose them, forget them or simply keep them too far away. And when that happens, ambulances can't always come in time.

That's why a team of researchers from Israel's Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv came up with a novel solution that, in retrospect, seems a bit inevitable in 2018. They made an app.

woman using epipen People with serious allergies need to be ready to act at a moment's notice. (Photo: Rob Byron / Shutterstock)

Their EPIMADA app connects EpiPen users to each other. The app employs GPS, much like Uber, to help users in need find nearby EpiPen holders in real time. That way, if someone's having a reaction, she doesn't need to wait for an ambulance. She can use the app to alert the world. Then, a neighbor with an EpiPen can rush to her to save the day.

Hundreds of people have already signed up.

“Our preliminary research results show that allergy patients are highly motivated to give their personal EpiPen to patient-peers in immediate need, something generally uncommon among total strangers,” explained Michal Gaziel Yablowitz, a doctoral student working on the app.

Helpfulness might be uncommon among total strangers (or not), but it doesn't surprise us. After all, who isn't willing to save a life?

For more information, check out the university's page on the app here.

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