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Training Patients to Self-Inject: Moving the Needle Forward

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By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) – When a patient is required to self-inject their medication, they may be apprehensive during the initial few months, known as the onboarding period. As recently reported in Healthcare Packaging, Noble International Inc.— a developer of patient-centric, advanced drug delivery system trainers custom-built for the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers—is taking steps to ease their anxiety.

As Healthcare Packaging notes, multiple factors can contribute to whether or not the medication is delivered effectively: needle anxiety, lack of confidence, and a lack of understanding of the correct administration technique. In 2017, Noble—which produces products offered by pharmaceutical firms—became an exclusive partner with Becton Dickinson (BD) in providing comprehensive, patient-centric platforms designed to increase device familiarity and support patient onboarding.

“Training devices can be instrumental in helping patients overcome fear when using an injectable drug delivery device,” says Joe Reynolds, Research Manager of Noble. “Our research has shown that for onboarding to be successful, the demonstrating device must be meticulously engineered to mimic the exact look and feel of the actual device.”

For example, Noble has developed patient-centric training devices that replicate the appearance, sound and feel of actual autoinjectors and prefilled syringes down to the smallest detail, offering a vivid experience for the patient. Separately, Noble has developed “smart” adherence devices that can provide instantaneous feedback to the user, in real time, on how well the procedure is being performed and issue a warning if there is a problem.

Noble’s autoinjector trainers and prefilled syringe trainers incorporate a range of high-tech features, such as the ability to replicate the viscosity of liquid drugs and plunger speed; provide adjustable audible feedback that mimics the sound of an actual drug delivery device; and incorporate the realistic feel of an actual injector tip on the skin. The company also offers a syringe angle aid training tool, designed as a way for patients to learn the correct angle for subcutaneous injection using a precisely measured channel as a guide. In a study conducted by Noble and presented at an industry conference in 2015, drug delivery devices with needle simulation technology was found to reduce anxiety compared to traditional training and no training.

Through its collaborations, Noble is leveraging its onboarding training to develop demonstrators to improve patient experience and confidence.

“By having a deep understanding of complex device engineering and patient needs, we can better help our pharmaceutical partners create impactful onboarding solutions,” Reynolds adds.

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