Ergonomics & New Syringe Design

Read the article here.

From The effect of a new syringe design on the ability of rheumatoid arthritis patients to inject a biological medication:

“Consideration of more patient-friendly and ergonomically designed syringes may enhance subjects’ ability to overcome specific aspects of their functional limitations and consequently may help improve compliance and result in a better overall injection experience as a means of drug delivery methods.”

What a great cause. I love knowing that designers are out there caring about the experience of something like self injected medication. It’s a really hard thing for patients to overcome, and I can see that the new design will make a huge difference. The study focused on how the tests were run, but didn’t disclose much of the process- was there only one final prototype that the subjects were exposed to? Is that common in studies like this? I like that they care both about the physical experience and the perception of the experience by asking “Was it easier to use?” but also “Was it good for me?” and “Was it approachable?” It would be interesting to see how the designers proposed the balance of design, usability, and approachability. All are important but which was the focus?

I was surprised that they kept the black handle, most likely to align with the aesthetic of the OXO brand. I would suspect that had they made the handle white, it would have been even more approachable.

While reading I kept thinking of my own observatory experiences with self injected medication. My boyfriend is diabetic, and although I do not administer his medication, watching him do so is ingrained in my life. I asked him if there were any design opportunities in his insulin system, and we looked at it together. Having never looked at it from a design point of view, I could see that a lot of care went into making it user friendly. There are twist tabs for grabbing, large letters for reading and the system comes with a convenient case to hold everything he needs from day to day. The best opportunity would be making the pump lighter for him to have strapped on his belt all day and make a tube that does not tangle. Also, it would help to make the insulin tube so that if you put it in the wrong way it does not fit- like a floppy disk. That way, even if someone is sick and trying to get their medicine they cannot do it wrong.



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