Upper Arm Self Install?

So, I decided to get a spark along with a few other things and it arrives today. Given I kinda want to snoop around the VivoKey forum I am tempted to self install it because well by the looks of things the US I wont be going out in the US for a fair while…

Now given the spark for me will be rarely used I have considered various install spots, so far the winner is the inside of the upper arm. I had not seen any information on this install spot but @Pilgrimsmaster reminded me that it is the location used for contraceptive implants so I started doing some research in that area. Here is an image of the install spot I am thinking of, its basicly the grove between the Bicep and Tricep:

I even found detailed instructions for the install starting at page 4 of this document.
Interestingly they do not do any form of skin tenting but instead pull the skin down towards the elbow then insert at a 30° angle to get under the skin then put the injector down so it is parallel to the arm which tents the skin with the needle. I beleive they do this as the skin is much less elastic there than in pos 0 on the hand.

One thing I was concerned about was the migration risk in that area and according to the FDA for the contraceptive implants it is about 1 in a million that there is significant migration (more than 2 cm in either direction) obviously that would not translate directly to the spark but still made me worry about it somewhat less.

Just curios for anyone else’s input on that location, what they think of using the needle to tent the skin there instead of before hand and weather a self install in that area is wise given the relatively large number of significant blood vessels in the area.


@Backpackingvet you did a forearm self install. Any thoughts? :smiley:


I hope you help it take off.

Ouch. I have a tattoo here. I would recommend PMK here or ice. Sensitive area to self shove a needle into.

You want your skin taunt if you can, I feel a tent would be easier, but this would work too. You just need to feel for the “pop” it helps with insertion and pain.

I doubt it will move far at all. That would make it a real magic chip. My forearm one hasn’t moved a bit, even though I tried to reposition it.

I personally think you will be fine. If you can, try using a tourniquet on your arm and feel for your veins, they feel spongy if you are concerned. I believe you are fine there as the veins tend to not be in that location.

I would still see if there was any way to self tent the skin as it would make it much easier to self install. I had my wife pull my arm skin up.

I will see if I can find the install video for the glucose one I want. I feel that the way they do the instructions for things is bare basic as to not enhance liability. You are your own liability here.

Edit: I also think tenting would help it stay at the right level. Because you would want to make sure you don’t go down or up once you are in.


The only concern I have is that even with my fingers (let alone some kind of clamp) getting a significant tent is much harder than with my hand. I can get a good inch of tent in pos 0 without pain where as the arm I get maybe half that and it is not exactly comfortable.

Yeah, it looks like they have a special insertion device.

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I will take a pic on my arm. I just know I would rather have a bit of pain with a tent device over a slow puncture personally. I’ve done phlebotomy for 6 years now.

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Ohh the pain was not the worry more as an example of the fact it dose not want to stretch as much. I just don’t know what would be able to pull it up well given I have no lovely assistant :sweat_smile:

You shouldn’t have to pull up an inch, you only want to go below the skin.


I would also insert proximal

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Ohh cool, that looks very doable :slight_smile: well you may be able to chant one of us tonight…
I love how I went from:
“Nahhh no need for a spark” to “First implant, and was so impatient I self installed it despite all reason”

Admittedly the only reason I am self installing this one is it is useful for me from home and with the forarm/hand I plan on getting it all done at once :grimacing: so I can take some time off work and let them fully recover.


Like from the shoulder or towards it? Like I know in this case the shoulder would be proximal. but yeah towards or away.

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I think you can do it. I would use pain management of some kind. I am no stranger to pain, but you want to be able to finish stabbing yourself too.

Also eat a good snack beforehand and have a juice on standby. I feel like it is the adrenaline that gets ya feeling faint.

Also clean your clamp as well as you can, and try not to touch it, except to take it off.


Work the easy angle for you. Insert it from where you can see, maybe even double glove.

Insert it shoulder side and go toward your elbow.

If you double glove, you can insert to the pop, and take the clamp off if you want, and take that glove off carefully. I mean. You don’t want the insertion device to fall out. It just depends on what you are comfy with.

There are a ton of ways you can do it.


Or wait till insertion is done to take it off and bandage to site. Just keep it clean damnit

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I have some Elma patches around. Although my pain tolerance is rather high as is my comfort with large needles. But I will use it anyway just so there is not too much tensing up etc.

Ohh you have me excited now :stuck_out_tongue:

Fiiiiiiine mum :stuck_out_tongue:

Depending on the length of the applicator that seems sensible.

I am no pro but I have quite a bit of medical training as a lifeguard first aid officer so I have some understanding of not cross contaminating things, hopefully that will help. :sweat_smile:

I got dis. Lol it just arrived, will have to do it tonight.


Mine is too. I am no stranger to pain. I would only suggest it because what if? What if you start, and you realize it sucks majorly? You have a now unclean needle, and you either need to finish, or clean it all somehow.

It is more so you can make sure you finish? If it was L0 I would not suggest it really.


I may have 1 issue, not sure I have any clips of any sort… Will have to do it tomorrow :stuck_out_tongue:

Do you have a moment to talk about our lord and savior… Amazon


Ohh I will be able to add some info to Implant Sutra. :grin:


I have a tattoo there as well. I thought the tattoo artist pulling my skin hurt more than the needle. lol.

I have to say, you are going though a lot of trouble to put this in in an awkward spot. Remember you’ll have to use your phone on it so that’s an odd place. It also all but eliminates any chance of using it on a reader that isn’t your phone (door lock, lock box, etc).

I self installed my spark about 3.5" above my wrist in between the ulna and radius. Never moved, and its in an ideal spot to hit it with your phone… and still can be used on at least some mounted readers without too much contortion.

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Great advice, but I’m pretty sure @leumas95 is aware, he is getting it because of FOMO of the Vivokey Forum :wink: , and I think the intention is to have it as a backup for his Apex…