Injection Pen a Work of Art
FDA may not have approved it yet, but the National Museum of Women in the Arts has. A prototype injection pen designed for Preos, an osteoporosis therapy, is on display at the ï¿½Nordic Cool: Hot Women Designersï¿½ exhibition in Washington, DC. The exhibition explores the contribution of women designers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Salt Lake City) commissioned Ergonomidesign (Stockholm) to design an injection pen that was comfortable and easy for patients to useï¿½particularly those with reduced dexterity. ï¿½We knew that 78% of patients had arthritis as well as osteoporosis,ï¿½ says Jayme Norrie, product manager for NPS. ï¿½Our goal was to make the injection system intuitive so that patients, particularly older women, would feel comfortable that they had activated it properly.ï¿½ Many of the current injection systems did not have that intuitive design element, says Norrie. ï¿½Patients should be able to look at it and know exactly how to use it.ï¿½
Together with NPS, Maria Benktzon and her design team developed six concept models for evaluation in a study of 12 women. ï¿½Some of the women had normal hand/arm function and some had reduced hand/arm function,ï¿½ explains Benktzon. ï¿½As a result of that test, we found that the traditional injection pen concept with the top trigger was not possible for some users to activate.ï¿½ The company developed a pen with a side activator that also served as a grip and was comfortable for the userï¿½s hand. ï¿½Itï¿½s designed so you can activate it with the thumb, or you can pull it and activate it with your fingers,ï¿½ says Norrie.
The device is a dual-chamber cartridge with a lyophilized powder on one side and a liquid on the other. There are very few injection systems that work with this kind of cartridge, says Norrie, so the company turned to Ypsomed (Burgdorf, Switzerland) to make the pens. The device also has a color-coding system, which is part of the intuitive design. ï¿½By following the colors and turning everything to green, the patient knows that theyï¿½ve loaded the dose properly and it is ready to be administered,ï¿½ says Norrie. The pen also has a dose counter that counts down from 14 to 1 so that patients do not have to calculate how many doses are left.
Ergonomidesign also incorporated a needle guard that shields the needle from sight. ï¿½The needle guard is shaped like a daisy so it looks friendlier,ï¿½ says Benktzon. The daisy tip has become a symbol of the pen, she says, and is even used in the pattern of the case. ï¿½Because more women will use it, it has a slightly more feminine touch, and we have tried to make it attractive and less medical looking,ï¿½ Benktzon explains.
NPS plans to apply for FDA approval of Preos this year. The ï¿½Nordic Cool: Hot Women Designersï¿½ show runs through September 12 in Washington, DC.