Personal medical devices, such as auto-injectors for biologics, insulin pens and inhalers, are engineered to allow patients to autonomously deliver their own care. Given their high level of patient involvement, if they are to be successful, these devices must surpass functionality alone to resonate with patients on an emotional level.

In this article published exclusively in WARC, Mike Mabey – our VP Client Solutions Americas – and Ariel Herrlich – our Manager – discussed personal medical devices, such as insulin pens, inhalers and auto-injectors, and the obstacles they need to overcome in order to be successfully implemented.

From prototype to patient life: connecting functional attributes with emotional benefits (summary)

This paper explores:

  • These devices need to exceed functional use and impact patients on an emotional level, which can partly be achieved by measuring the impact of physicians and nurses as a support system.
  • Analysing how patients feel about the device, along with evaluating the usability of the product, is essential in order to ensure ongoing patient adherence.
  • Uncertainty concerning syringe disposal protocols and fear of needles are common thoughts when self-injection is required, and this fear may also be echoed by healthcare professionals; comfortable, sturdy grips can make a patient feel more comfortable injecting.
  • Further obstacles can include pain at injection site, and the (sometimes mistaken) belief amongst patients and certain healthcare professionals that medical devices can be costly.