A user-friendly approach to drug delivery device development
Cutting-edge design that puts the patient first is at the heart of a new drug delivery device for multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferers. Product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants has worked with leading pharmaceutical company Novartis and medical device manufacturer Owen Mumford – plus hundreds of MS patients – to come up with the ExtaviPro® 30G auto-injector.
From its attractive visual design and ergonomic shape to its easy-to-read adjustable needle depth control, the ExtaviPro 30G has been designed with the needs of the patient in mind. More than 500 MS patients and healthcare professionals in the US, the UK and mainland Europe were involved in the development process to ensure the device was underpinned by a deep understanding of the users.
An estimated 2.5 million people worldwide have MS – a disease affecting the central nervous system. Symptoms can include vision problems, tingling and tremors, dizziness, balance problems, restricted mobility, fatigue and cognitive issues. The ExtaviPro 30G is aimed at people who suffer from relapsing forms of MS – such as clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and secondary-progressive MS (SPMS) – who make up the majority of MS patients. They have periods when symptoms flare up aggressively, known as relapses, followed by periods of recovery – or remission. They often have to self-inject prescription medication at home to help reduce the impact and frequency of relapses.
“Our aim was to make the ExtaviPro 30G auto-injector very simple and intuitive to use, and enable one-handed injection,” said Andy Pidgeon, head of the industrial design and human factors group at Cambridge Consultants. “Its ergonomic shape leads patients to instinctively hold it correctly – which is vital for those who suffer from tremors, as having a firm grip is key to self-injecting safely.
“Another key factor was the feedback we received during our extensive user research. Patients wanted a soft, non-threatening design, for example – so we’ve made it very user friendly. And it’s led to the creation of a drug delivery device that doesn’t look like a badge of infirmity.”
As well as the look and feel of the auto-injector, Cambridge Consultants also developed the accompanying instruction leaflets – ensuring they were clear for MS sufferers with cognitive problems – as well as the travel bag for carrying the device and supplies for injections. To ensure the design truly reflected the needs and desires of patients, even the bag went through several rounds of user studies to ensure it best suited individual lifestyles.
The ExtaviPro 30G auto-injector has been launched in Europe – initially in Germany.