Human-Centric Design- Pharma
Three examples of patient-centric design in Pharma are the Smart Pill Bottle by Adhere, the Reconstituted Drugs Dispensing Cap by Origin and the Companion Line of Syringes by Credence Medsystems.
Pharma Industry and Patient-Centric Design
- Extensive research has resulted in an understanding that the companies that develop the new drugs, i.e. the "Pharmaceutical companies" as traditionally understood, are not the innovators in the field of patient-centric design. Instead, they work with companies that do the human-centric design and sell their designs to numerous pharmaceutical companies. This report will, therefore, provide information on patient-centric designs by companies in the pharmaceutical design field, not the drug development field.
Adhere Tech — Smart Pill Bottle
- Adhere Tech has a mission of improving patient adherence to their medication schedules.
- To do that, Adhere has partnerships with 7 large pharma manufacturers, with more expected to get on board.
- Adhere has designed a system which notifies patients when they do not take their medications on schedule.
- The medication comes in a Smart Pill bottle, which looks like a regular pill bottle and requires no changes to the patient's routine.
- If the bottle is not opened on the physician recommended schedule, a signal is sent to Adhere where the information is analyzed, along with other data.
- The system sends personalized information to the patient's phone. The system works with landlines, cell phones, or smartphones.
- "This may be a simple reminder, a customized message, or a care-based question."
- Patient responses are also analyzed.
- Because the system is integrated directly with the pharmacist in real-time, they can follow up directly with the patient.
- Patients rate the service at 4.7 out of five.
- During clinical trials, Avella Specialty Pharmacy from UnitedHealth Group Clinical results showed a "Median adherence rate of [AdhereTech] patients was 100% adherence compared to 90.75% in the [non-AdhereTech] control group."
- The clinical trial also showed that "Patients in the [AdhereTech] arm took 83% of doses within the recommended window, compared with 22% in the control arm."
- When the Smart Pill bottle went into general use, the same group reports that "AdhereTech has improved duration on therapy by 26%, fill rates by 9%, and dose-level adherence by 15%."
- Diplomat Pharmacy, the largest independent pharmacy in the US, reports that "The average patient using AdhereTech bottles experienced more than one additional medication fill annually."
Origin — Reconstituted Drugs Dispensing Cap
- Origin's mission statement is "Bringing Healing Home".
- Origin is a pharmaceutical packaging company the designs and develops packaging solutions for the global pharma market.
- There are forms of medications that need to be stored in a dry state to maintain their healing properties until just before the patient ingests it. This process requires mixing the correct dose of powder with the correct amount of solution, called a diluent, just before administration.
- This requirement has been known to cause significant challenges for patients.
- Origin has designed a device marketed as the Recon Cap.
- The cap stores the correct dose of the dry preparation, as recommended by the pharmaceutical company, in the top of the container.
- When a tear band is removed, the powder drops into the diluent below.
- The container remains sealed, allowing the user to mix the solution through agitation without worrying about leaks. The top unscrews, and the liquid medication can be consumed.
- Using this type of packaging make it easier for patients to get the right ratio of powder to medication.
- This design makes it possible for patients to travel with their medicine without having to visit their pharmacy every 7-10 days
- It also now makes this type of dispensing available in parts of the world where there is no guarantee of access to purified water.
Credence Med — Improving Injectables
- Credence MedSystems has designed an award-winning Companion Safety Syringe System which provides three different options for injectables that improve patient safety.
- They have done this without the change that drug research companies usually have to incorporate in combination product development.
- If a pre-attached needle is the optimum delivery method, the "Credence Companion® Staked Needle Syringe allows the use of existing drug container components and provides integrated automatic needle retraction and reuse prevention. The platform scales to allow 1ml Long, 2.25ml and other barrel sizes."
- If a medication delivery requires needle-choice flexibility, Credence Meds "Guide-On Needle Cover" ensures the proper needle attachment.
- "The user is notified that the injection is complete, and then the needle retracts automatically and permanently into the barrel of the syringe."
Dual Chamber Reconstitution Syringe
- When an injection requires a mixture of two components immediately before delivery, this design allows both solutions to be stored in a single syringe, which mixes them just before injection.
- All three systems improve patient safety using retractable needles, which prevent both accidental sticks by needles and patients reusing needles.
- The reconstitution syringe not only allows drug companies more options in creating formulations but allows patients who previously were hospitalized to ensure correct administration of drugs, the ability to go home and treat themselves.