Ergonomic product design seems to be playing an increasingly important role in medical devices in recent years with consumer design beginning to influence the look and usability of many medical products. A recent example of this is the Flexi-ject auto-injector developed by Cambridge Consultants (Cambridge, UK) and Neopac (Oberdiessbach, Switzerland), which enables patients to deliver medication by simply positioning it over the skin and squeezing it.
The device also offers the ability to change the needle depth to customize it for the body part it is to be used on. An end-of-dose indicator gives users feedback that the full drug dose was administered. The device can be reused with an individually prepackaged drug dose.
Devices such as the Flexi-ject, which feature user-centered design, have a higher likelihood of succeeding in the marketplace, according to Matthew Allen, director of drug delivery at Cambridge Consultants. “I hope this novel design will stimulate thought and debate amongst the industry about how we can take advantage of innovations in both design and packaging to enhance people’s lives.”
The designers project that the Flexi-ject would cost less than $5 per unit to make when manufactured in volume.