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How can a human factors perspective contribute to inhaler innovation?

This is an excerpt from Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer (PMPS) magazine’s Inhalation Technology supplement. Published in Issue 74, February 2017.


As medical device companies strive to make their products more user-friendly, it becomes clear that listening to the end user is an important part of the process. Through small-scale studies and human factors analysis, inhalers can be developed that are simple and easy to use.

Two main challenges with human factors (HF) stand out at the moment: one is that it has become a ‘hot topic’ that people do not want to hear about anymore; the other is that it is perhaps not clear what the lasting and valuable contribution of it will be.

However, it can have real benefits in the development of inhalers. It is important to look at the HF perspective and how it might contribute to future advancements in both medical devices and technology.

 
Innovative Inhalers

It is not helpful for HF to be possessive, or seek to claim ownership of any particular aspect of the development of inhalers or their life in the world. This perspective is just one voice among many, and countless progressions in inhalers occurred before HF were identified as an integral part of the design process.

There are three aspects of the inhaler-user relationship where the industry looks to improve:

  1. Designing inhalers that are easier to use
  2. Improving user competence
  3. Supporting disease management

The rest of the article is available below:

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