For sufferers of asthma, going out without an inhaler in-tow is risk not worth taking, but these clunky devices don't lend themselves too well to life inside jean pockets. So one startup has set out to make a much more portable version, developing a slimline asthma inhaler that can be stored inside a wallet.
Bloom is around the same length and width as a credit card, measuring 54 x 85 mm (2.1 x 3.3 in), and around five times as thick at 4.3 mm (0.17 in). Inside the reinforced steel body is enough space for six doses of medicine, which are expelled via a flip-up tab that acts as the trigger.
A nozzle then sprays the medicine into the user's lungs using the open mouth technique. This is a clinically approved method which involves the user holding their inhaler an inch or two away from the mouth while breathing in its contents.
Bloom can be refilled through a hermetic seal at the top and is compatible with all HFA inhalers. Its makers are now in the process of testing with a view to gaining FDA approval for the device by November this year. They plan to eventually ship the inhaler for $40.