5 January 2017
Smart medical packaging
Interactive packaging concept to improve compliance and the patient experience
Instruction leaflets are confusing at the best of times. But they could be a matter of life and death if you’ve just been diagnosed with a chronic disease and suddenly need to learn fast how to inject yourself with vital medication.
A new smart packaging concept from product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants could provide a solution. AudioPack augments the usual instructions for use with audio messages that are triggered by touch-sensitive paper packaging. The aim is to give patients extra guidance and support to help overcome their initial fears of starting a new treatment. The ‘talking’ packaging is designed to help them through those first few weeks.
Poorly understood instructions can lead to drugs being misused and treatment being less effective – putting a patient’s health in danger. This is particularly true when a patient has been newly diagnosed with a chronic condition such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes.
“From our extensive interviews with patients learning to use various medical devices with packaging and instruction leaflets, we know that traditional instructions can be difficult to read and learn from – often, a patient doesn’t even know where to start,” said Adam Haynes, a senior industrial designer at Cambridge Consultants.
“Our deep expertise in industrial design and human factors gives us the perfect insight to create a packaging system that is more intuitive and much less intimidating for patients. Our goal with AudioPack is to transform medical treatment through user-friendly, approachable design – ultimately improving effectiveness and benefiting the whole healthcare ecosystem.”
With AudioPack, instructions are delivered by an avatar named Ana, who guides the patient through step-by-step use of their new medical device – an injector, for example. The intuitive design aims to simplify the treatment process for less tech-savvy users or patients with cognitive issues caused by their disease. As well as improving the patient experience, AudioPack can help cut clinical costs – reducing the time doctors and nurses need to spend instructing patients on their new medications.
Beyond disease management, smart medical packaging could be used as a training tool for healthcare staff. It also has the potential to reduce errors and anxiety when a device is required for use in an emergency situation.
Cambridge Consultants will be demonstrating its AudioPack technology at the CES 2017, January 5-8, in Las Vegas at the Sands Expo, Halls A-C, stand 44136.
Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology-critical issues for clients worldwide. For more than 50 years, the company has been helping its clients turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether they are launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies. With a team of more than 700 staff, including engineers, scientists, mathematicians and designers, in offices in Cambridge (UK), Boston (USA) and Singapore, Cambridge Consultants offers solutions across a diverse range of industries including medical technology, industrial and consumer products, digital health, oil and gas, and wireless communications.
Cambridge Consultants is part of Altran, a global leader in engineering and R&D services which offers its clients a new way to innovate. Altran works alongside its clients on every link in the value chain of their project, from conception to industrialisation. In 2015, the Altran group generated revenues of €1.945bn. With a headcount of more than 27,000 employees, Altran is present in more than 20 countries. For more information, visit www.altran.com.
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