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3 Examples of Consumer-Inspired Drug-Delivery Devices

Qmed sat down with an executive at West Pharmaceutical Services to learn about consumer-friendly injection devices.

Brian Buntz

The popularity of consumer devices such as smartphones and tablet computers is fueled by their impressive technology and their ease of use, with the latter being a crucial ingredient. "The user interface on the iPhone, for instance is very intuitive. People of all skill levels can use it," explains Graham Reynolds, vice president, marketing and communications, delivery systems at West Pharmaceutical Services (Exton, PA).

In recent years, medical device and drug-delivery device developers have been inspired by the sleek user interfaces of such products but they often have added challenge of developing products with patients with compromises dexterity. And it is not enough to design a product that is simply easy to use; ideally, the device should encourage the target user base to use the product consistently with little training or support. "What we are trying to do is design devices or delivery technologies that people are encouraged to use consistently," Reynolds says.

1. Cimzia Injector

An example of such a product that succeeds in this regard is the UCB Cimzia injector, which was intended to be used by patients with rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. "If you think about a simple act of injection with a syringe, it requires requires obtaining a dose by pressing the plunger down with the thumb. If you were an arthritis patient, or had dexterity issues, just the process of doing that and removing the needle shield can be quite a challenge," Reynolds explains.

Cimzia syringe
This device was developed in collaboration with OXO, which is a consumer company known for its Good Grips product line.

Developed in collaboration with Smart Design (New York City) and OXO (famous for its Good Grips product line), UCB developed a device that could be readily used by arthritic patients. The Arthritis Foundation even commended the product for its ease-of-use. "People thought: wow, this is revolutionary," Reynolds recounts.

Designers of injectors must consider that a growing number of patients are giving themselves injections and the design considerations for creating products for them are substantially different than designing for clinicians. It is critical to build the needs of the user into the device. And that requires a precise understanding of how the target product will be used.

SmartDose
The SmartDose device can deliver high-viscosity drugs.

2. SmartDose

An example of a consumer-friendly device from West Pharmaceutical Services's portfolio is the SmartDose electronic patch injector technology platform. The device is compact, features a single push-button operation, and can easily enable a patient to deliver a controlled dose of high-viscosity drugs.

3. SelfDose

Another example from West Pharmaceutical Services's portfolio is the SelfDose disposable single-does self injector. The easy-to-use device was designed to reduce the risk of accidental needlesticks. The product, which was developed in collaboration with Janssen Biotech, can be used by arthritis patients. "Anarthritis patient could hold it in the palm of their hand and delivering a dose would be one smooth process rather than requiring multiple steps like other injectors."

SefDose
The SelfDose injector can be used by arthritic patients.
Refresh your medical device industry knowledge at BIOMEDevice Boston, May 6-7, 2015.

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