5 Ways to Design and Develop Valuable Connected Drug Delivery Devices
Connected drug delivery devices are the wireless connected and smart electronic devices that allow patient-administrated therapy. Modern drug delivery devices are packed with electronics and sensors that allow in tracking dose delivery & timing and offer instant feedback to patients. A number of companies believe that by combining their drug delivery devices with connected capabilities, can help in boosting patient compliance & learn more about the products available in the market.
Since the past decade, the healthcare industry has increasingly digitalized with the widespread adoption of connected devices in laboratories & hospitals, electronic health records (EHR), and tablets & smartphones to support healthcare professionals. Opportunely, the widespread accessibility of low-cost connectivity such as near-universal access to technologies such as smartphone and Bluetooth have opened the door to novel opportunities in the healthcare industry.
Connected drug delivery devices are the wireless connected and smart electronic devices that allow patient-administrated therapy. Primarily, these devices are equipped with a sensor that offers various features such as adherence trackers, dosing remainder, and patient education tools. Also, these devices are used for the treatment of various diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, liver & renal transplant recipients, hepatitis C, hypertension, asthma, tuberculosis, and clinically isolated syndrome.
The Rise of Connected Drug Delivery Devices
Modern drug delivery devices when compared with the traditional devices are much more sophisticated. Many of these devices are packed with electronics and sensors that allow in tracking dose delivery & timing and offer instant feedback to patients. This help the patients to know whether a dose has been successfully delivered or not. Many devices available today are also connected to apps and programs, either through wireless connectivity or cables that allow data transfer. Hence, the global connected drug delivery devices market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 24.6% during the forecast period from 2020 to 2027.
Connected drug delivery devices have remarkable potential benefits for caregivers and patients. Some of the benefits of the connected drug delivery devices are:
They enable automated tracking of when a dose is delivered and how much is taken, allowing caregivers, doctors, and patients to see dosing history.
They alert patients when getting low on medication or even start automated communication to pharmacies and doctors for just-in-time refills.
They help in connecting the device to sophisticated apps and systems that allow closed-loop drug delivery, trigger alerts for doctors or caregivers related to prescribed medication, and remind patients when a dose is due.
Thus, when done right, connected drug delivery devices improve patient adherence, safety, and doctor-patient communication. However, the more features that are added to these devices, the more demands are engaged on the user.
Key Takeaways for Developing Connected Drug Delivery Devices
Nowadays, people are nearly managing every aspect of day-to-day lives online with computers at their fingertips. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical and medtech industries are looking for ways to assist people stay on top of their treatment regimens and thereby improve outcomes.
A number of companies believe that by combining their drug delivery systems or medical devices with connected capabilities, can help in boosting patient compliance & learn more about the products available in the market. However, developing a connected drug delivery devices comes with a unique set of challenges.
Some of the key takeaways for developing connected drug delivery devices are as follows:
- Defining and Determining
The first step in developing connected drug-delivery device is defining the product and determining whether it’s feasible.
Companies should assess whether or not they can prototype the medical device quickly to evaluate if the device is even do-able in the first place. Once emerged from the product definition and feasibility stage, companies need to consider creating a document tree related to mechanical, software, and electrical assets with specific needs and requirements.
- Designing and Development
In the design and development process, companies should consider their end-users and the technology they will be familiar with. For instance, a web-based application will be more comfortable to use for older patient population rather than a solution requiring a smartphone.
If a smartphone or tablet is going to be a part of the connected drug-delivery device, there are a numerous factors to take into account such as the carrier designing and an operating system to use.
- Collecting and Managing Data
Creating a connected drug-delivery device means thinking about data. From the beginning, companies need to think about the data they want to collect, where the data should go to and what to do with that data.
Many companies are gathering data and providing it back to the user. But clinicians and patients aren’t always interested in raw data. Companies should think about gathering data and managing it into trends from which patients can collect valuable information.
Cybersecurity is a vital part in healthcare and every company developing a connected drug delivery device should consider it. Companies need to pay attention to few things such as the risk to patient, the risk to clinician, and the risk to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Companies should perform assessments in order to understand potential security risks and its impacts on the product’s future user.
- Planning for Trouble
Connected drug delivery devices are complex and there are number of opportunities for problems to arise. The challenge faced by the companies are predicting potential problems and planning accordingly for technology that could be outmoded in a matter of years.
There are going to be bugs in the software and thus, the company should prepare for that. Companies should think about their support and maintenance plan by changing the design of the device, mechanically or electrically, which will require an update.
The Way Forward
According to a Research Dive analyst review , biopharma companies are gradually forming partnerships with healthcare technology providers to develop connected drug delivery devices. Contributing to development and embracing connected solutions will help biopharma companies to increase adherence rate and subsequently, revenue. Connected drug delivery devices provide access to real-time patient data, which can be used by biopharma companies to determine adherence improvement outcomes to regulators, payers, and patients.
Companies that have already started collaborating with healthcare technology providers are predicted to be well-placed to benefit from this outcome based, data-driven, and personalized, connected drug delivery devices.