It’s tough to get back into the swing of things. Over the summer, we were on the road a lot and out of our routine. As we head back into the school year, anything we can do to help get back on the road to success is a plus. We were sent a Two pack of Veta Smart Cases to test out, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
The Veta by Aterica is a case that can hold Mylan brand or Mylan generic EpiPens. In the box you get two cases, caps which color-correspond to the dosage of the epinephrine, batteries for the two units, stickers to personalize the cases, and silicone bands to hold the two cases together. That is the physical part of the product. You also need to have the app, as well as a device you can pair the cases with that have bluetooth abilities. At this time, when you purchase the unit from Aterica or CVS, 2 years of the subscription service is INCLUDED with the purchase. This can be a phone or tablet, and works with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms.
What we love about it? As a parent, I think what I love most is that with the app, you can see where the autoinjectors are at all times. You can invite people to use the app once you get it set up, so that the information is private and only available to those who you ask to join your support circle. Now, besides knowing that your child has their EpiPens, you can also find them if they are misplaced. You can “ping” the pens and they will beep, which, let’s face it, with the state of many teen rooms is extremely useful. Another feature that’s really helpful is that if you leave without the EpiPens, your phone will beep or vibrate (or both if you want) to let you know you have become “separated” from them. Another great feature is that you can set temperature parameters for the unit and it will track how hot or cold they get. Mylan has stated that their autoinjectors should be stored between 68ºF and 77ºF. There has been some research on temperatures a bit beyond these stated by the manufacturers by Dr. Julie Brown and you can also find some information here from Kids with Food Allergies on the subject of temperatures. (If you have specific questions about this, always speak with your prescribing physician.) Because you can set the temperatures yourself, I really like the idea of maybe setting them a little off of what the manufacturers suggest (NOT higher or lower — I mean a few degrees higher on the low end, and lower on the high end-in line with the manufacturers recommendations, say set it between 70ºF and 75ºF) so as to alert you if they are getting close to those limits I know day to day it’s always said that if you are okay outside, then your epis are as well. I’m thinking this is great for times when you are in temperature extremes like Florida for vacation, or on the slopes of Whistler.
Another big pro to the unit, I feel, is that if the EpiPen is taken out and not replaced quickly, an alert is sent to your circle. This lets everyone know the epi has been removed, and potentially used. On the user end, a call can be placed to emergency services, and to those in their circle. It’s a call none of us want to receive, but it would be great info to have as quickly as possible.
Now, every product has things they can improve upon, and I think the biggest question I have seen floating around is the size. I get it. I have a child who self-carries on his person. I have lovingly referred to this as “He looks like an ant carrying around a phone pole on his back.” Because he did. While he’s grown a lot since he started to self-carry in 1stgrade, I sometimes still can see where the pack is and this case does make carrying them bulkier. I think for many this may not be an issue though. Many people carry bags of some sort, be they diaper bags for very young kids, or those with bookbags and backpacks. Another thing that may be an issue is that the carrier of the case must have a smart device of some kind. Not all kids have these, although my child would swear that he’s the ONLY ONE in the world without a phone, you can have it connected to an iPad as well if they have Bluetooth abilities. Cost is another factor. The cases themselves are $170 USD for the two pack ($129 for one), plus the cost of the subscription to the service which is about $33 per year. While the batteries only need to be replaced about once a year (and it alerts you when it’s time), the cases themselves should last several years. I’ve heard discussion of each case holding only one pen. The size, cost and availability are reasons they have designed the unit to be used with a single injector verses having two in one case. There is a price incentive to getting the twin pack and then the consumer can decide how best to use the devices for their needs.
Overall, there are definitely pluses to the unit if you can afford it. You might have a problem if you are not good at remembering your phone, though most of us are permanently attached to them at this point. The ability to locate the case, to know when epis are removed from the case, and whether they have reached a potentially dangerous temperature extreme, are all great to have. For the tech-loving tweens through 20-somethings, who are at the highest risk for death from anaphylaxis, if this will help them, we are all for it!
You can read about our back to school tips here as well!
***I was not paid for my thoughts on this product nor was I paid for this post or any writings about the product. I was given the device to test out along with my son. Thoughts and opinions above are my own.***