Last year, Medgadget heard from Noble International about its “smart” training devices that educate patients on safe and effective at-home use of prefilled syringes and autoinjectors. At the time, Joe Reynolds, Research Manager at Noble International, shared some use cases for the company’s products, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Since that interview, longitudinal data has proven the efficacy of Noble’s training devices in clinical studies. All patients who practiced with the trainers at home for 14 days were able to complete all steps required to administer a self-injection without errors, compared to only 50% of patients completing all steps without errors and who only received standard Instructions for Use (IFU).
More recently, Noble was challenged by a pharmaceutical partner to specifically develop a self-injection training product to work alongside an existing autoinjector in order to improve the experience of patients with RA.
Due to reduced dexterity, use of autoinjectors by RA patients can be challenging. To address the challenge, the team at Noble developed a moldable rubber sleeve that does not require the user to move individual fingers or press an activation button when self-medicating.
To catch up on Noble’s work and learn more about their new offering for RA patients, expected to launch in late in 2019, Medgadget heard again from Joe Reynolds.
Medgadget: We spoke back in 2018 about Noble’s self-injection training technology. Since then, we understand new data has validated the impact Noble’s products offer. Can you share some of the details about these outcomes?
Joe Reynolds: A first-of-its-kind longitudinal study conducted by Noble validated the importance of arming patients with training devices for their at-home self-injections. It is understood that:
- 49% of patients prescribed self-injection devices did not receive proper training on how to use them in an office setting
- 84% of patients make errors when using autoinjectors
During the study, it was determined that with only a print IFU (instructions for use) to follow, 56% of participants made mistakes on critical injection steps. Notably, with a training device in addition to the standard IFU, 100% of participants successfully completed all injection steps. The same can be said for participants with an IFU, training device, and an interactive training video. What’s more, 92% of participants prefer to receive a training device to take home and practice with during their course of therapy.
Medgadget: Why did Noble decide to develop a product specifically for rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
Reynolds: Noble works across a number of acute and chronic therapeutic areas, including RA. When developing new products, we analyze user and market needs to develop prioritized requirements and goals for new products. In the biopharma sector, RA continues to be a condition with a high unmet medical need for training. As a result, we developed a dedicated RA strategy to address the specific needs of this market.
Medgadget: What challenges do patients with RA face when it comes to medication self-injection?
Reynolds: RA is a chronic and debilitating disease that affects millions of patients globally. The condition can restrict patients’ mobility and dexterity, and significantly decrease their quality of life. Fortunately, advancements in modern science and technology have resulted in effective treatments that control and slow the progression of RA, many of which require self-injection. Once prescribed a self-injectable medication, patients should receive training as they onboard to their treatments. Training is provided by healthcare providers, brochures, videos, and other channels to help patients self-manage their condition. Unfortunately, the quality and effectiveness of these tactics vary due to health literacy barriers and learning decay. To address these treatment gaps, Noble’s products seek to provide patients with consistent and beneficial training experiences. These multimodal solutions provide patients with the skills and knowledge required to confidently self-inject. Well-designed patient support and training programs have been found to increase patient adherence, outcomes, and quality of life.
Medgadget: Are there added challenges associated with creating a trainer based on existing autoinjector hardware?
Reynolds: There are some internal changes that need to be made to the training device so that what is typically a single-use product is turned into a resettable trainer that can be used many times by patients. Even with these slight changes, the training device has to have the same form and function as the true drug delivery device to ensure patients receive the most similar experience to the actual injection as possible.
Medgadget: What insights did Noble uncover while designing this new product?
Reynolds: In addition to using training devices in healthcare providers’ offices, we learned that many patients like to practice with training devices at home between injections. With an increase in time between at-home injections, patients are more likely to forget or misremember specific steps. Patients’ ability to practice during this “downtime” is extremely valuable.
Medgadget: What is the plan for Noble’s new offering moving forward?
Reynolds: Noble’s portfolio and strategy are built around the unmet needs of patients and the healthcare community. Moving forward, we will continue to apply our expertise and leverage our resources to improve the health and wellbeing of patients and communities around the world.