I am very interested to hear about a new treatment for insect bites, called heat_it. The innovative German project, which is at crowd-funding stage, has created a smartphone add-on for the treatment of insect bites.
A skier I met while in British Columbia last year is part of the wider project – and apparently it might be just the thing of annoying midge bites. I suffer with a bad reaction to midge bites and also clegs/horse flies.
What is heat_it?
The young Karlsruhe-based company has developed an extension for the smartphone, which enables heat treatment of insect bites in seconds.
To treat bites and stings, you put the small heat_it device in the charging port of the smartphone and then apply to the bite directly on your skin. The treatment is customised by an app. A mobile phone load is sufficient for more than 500 applications.
The heat_it promises relief according to the principle of hyperthermia – artificially generated temperature increase – and it can be adapted via an app to the cause of the sting.
It has been developed with itchy mosquito bites and wasp stings in mind but the heat principles might well work on other insect bites, like midges.
How does it work?
The functioning of the heat_it is simple. It combines a scientifically proven principle of therapeutic hyperthermia – artificially generated temperature increase – with the power supply and control via your smartphone.
By heating the affected area of the skin, the symptoms of itching and swelling can be treated in seconds and effectively. Specifically, the heat_it heats the affected area of the skin and provides relief within seconds.
When you need to utilise the phone extension, you simply insert the small device into the phone and use, wherever you are. It is great for sensitive skin and can be used by both adults and children.
The brains behind heat_it
The founder, Lukas Liedtke, has worked with a group of co-students, Stefan Hotz, Armin Meyer and Christof Reuter, to find a solution to irritating insect bites and stings.
In 2016, the four friends were alerted to a treatment by means of therapeutic hyperthermia. Basically, an artificially generated temperature increase can be used to reduce the irritation of a bite or sting.
While there are some products already on the market, Lukas was frustrated that these applications were either too clunky or inflexible and even battery operated. He decided there there should be a way to develop a smartphone extension to provide enough heat to ease the irritation of stings and bites.
He developed the heat_it as part of a student competition in 2017 and in 2018, the team began producing prototypes and a business plan.
heat_it is now in the approval process as a medical device and the team is close to mass production.
The product can be pre-ordered via crowdfunding on Startnext. Within a few hours, the first financing target of €12,000 was reached. The project can still be supported until mid-August. Availability will be by spring 2020.