Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH) senior Delaney Brody has produced the EpiPhone - an insulated silicone case that attaches to the back of a cell phone to house an epinephrine device.
What is the one thing everyone takes with them when they leave the house? And what is the one thing anybody with a life-threatening allergy should always have on them?
If you answered a cell phone and an EpiPen, meet Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH) senior, Delaney Brody. As part of the school's entrepreneurial development curriculum, she has combined the two and produced the EpiPhone - an insulated silicone case that attaches to the back of a cell phone to house an epinephrine device.
“This gives you peace of mind wherever you go,” Delaney said.
Delaney has suffered from life-threatening food allergies to eggs and nuts her whole life, she said, and knows first-hand how easy it is to forget her EpiPen, which can lead to scary close calls.
When she and her mother attended a conference in Washington, D.C., for teens, parents, and adults managing food allergies, Delaney, then a sophomore, realized she wasn’t the only one. She heard the same complaint, again and again, from peers who struggled to remember to carry their EpiPens.
She was taking a class in the school’s Sands Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) at the time, which challenged students to solve a real-world problem. So she picked this one - and came up with this way of making the pen as easy to remember as her phone.
Working in the school’s Invention Studio with Peter Randall, chair of the Engineering and Robotics Department, Delaney produced her first prototype using a 3D printer.
“But, I quickly realized that wasn’t a long-term solution,“ she said. “It took too long to print and the material needed to be more flexible in order to hold the epinephrine.”
Her project wasn’t finished by the time the class ended, so she applied and was selected to participate in the program’s “Venture Accelerator,” which meant intensive effort on her project, meeting with the CEL team three to four days each week.
She used the time to refine her product, focus on marketing and design a website. She also pursued her business plan, and through family contacts made a critical connection to a manufacturer in Hong Kong. She placed her first order of EpiPhone cases this past fall.
After delays caused by supply chain issues, her first product shipment — 1,000 lavender and black cases — has finally arrived.
“I’m so excited to finally be able to get the Epiphone in the hands of allergy sufferers,” Delaney says. “It’s been so rewarding to see the response to my product. One of my first customers bought four cases after a recent allergy diagnosis.”
“Delaney found a problem that deeply affects many people globally and designed an elegant solution,” CEL executive director Ed Glassman said. “Her journey to produce this life-saving innovation and now get it to market is a great example of what this program is all about.”
For more information, visit epiphones.com.