Credit card-sized inhaler in competition for the James Dyson Award

The Bloom inhaler.

An inhaler the size of a credit card is one of 20 designs up for this year’s James Dyson Award. Asthma medication is delivered by a tiny nozzle that clicks into place on the top of the device that a user places in front of their mouth just like traditional inhalers.

The device is dubbed Bloom, as reference to the seasonal blooming of pollen producing plants that can trigger asthma attacks, and was created by James Cazzoli, LiveScience reported.

Cazzoli is a mechanical engineering student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York who said he got the idea after growing up with people who suffered from severe asthma.

"I want to give some independence back to asthmatics, by redesigning the inhaler to completely defer to the user," Cazzoli told LiveScience. “People who live with chronic conditions are dependent on their medication. And of course, we're trying to ease the burden of living with asthma with the Bloom Inhaler.”

The Bloom inhaler can be filled by standard inhaler canisters, and holds 6 devices. It fits in the palm of a hand and is slender enough to fit inside a wallet. The estimated cost for each device would be about $40, and testing has begun to make sure Bloom can meet FDA requirements to be cleared for marketing.

The winner of the James Dyson Award will be announced Oct. 27, and will receive $45,000 with an additional $7,500 going to the inventor’s university.

- check out the LiveScience article