Packaging the Training

I recently returned from attending MedTec Innovation Expo at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, UK, and having had an interesting conversation with one of the delegates, it made me think about how training for medical devices is delivered.

Adele Graham-King

As anyone who has followed my blogs on here has seen, I regularly discuss how badly patients self-manage a wide variety of disease conditions due to ineffective use of devices for a variety of reasons -- one of these is due to lack of or ineffective training for the patient, clinician, or caregiver.

As things stand, training for use of medical and drug delivery devices tends (but not exclusively) to occur in one of three ways:

  • Delivered at the point of care by a clinician or healthcare professional;
  • From reading patient information leaflets (PILs);
  • From web-based material via text or video.

In any of these cases the user is interacting with the device but receives no feedback from the actual package. Information is also generally included in the secondary packaging or from a completely different source, both of which mean that the information may well not be present at the time of use.

As humans we need feedback to allow us to measure how we are performing -- we might not always like it, but at least we can respond to it. So, are there potential new, innovative ways we could include a training process in the actual primary packaging of the device to facilitate performance feedback? Does anyone know if this actually already exists?

Is it inconceivable that this could provide a solution to a real and present issue and could impact safety, efficacy, and adherence? At the moment, we tend to realise we've done something wrong when a device malfunctions and doesn't work correctly, and success comes through trial and error. This impacts adherence, morbidity, and potential mortality. Can we pre-empt this by "on-the-job" intelligent, interactive training to give us the best opportunity of optimum treatments?

Stay relevant as a medical device packaging engineer

Adele Graham-King, Blogger

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