Patient Safety Day - R&D Spotlight

Sep 2023

With the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Patient Safety Day around the corner on September 17th, we wanted to highlight how our device development process keeps the needs and wants of patients all over the world at the forefront of our operations. This year WHO has placed a particular focus on elevating the voices of patients, and emphasising the responsibility stakeholders within the healthcare industry have in ensuring that patients are active partners in their own care. 

This is a commitment which we have always taken very seriously, as our innovation process includes collaboration with healthcare professionals, patients, and other key players to gain insights and guarantee that our devices are user-friendly, effective, and impactful. This understanding of our end users allows us to design and advance products that will increase the ease, comfort, and adherence to the administration of medication, and most importantly involve patients in their personal care to warrant their safety. 

This longstanding commitment to our users’ needs is systemic throughout Owen Mumford but is perhaps best demonstrated within our Research and Development department. The lifeblood of the organisation, the R&D department is where we excel in delivering innovation and shaping the future of healthcare. Here we innovate the medical devices of tomorrow and underscore them all with a user centric design. Starting with the user is critical to be able to bring real innovation and value to our devices. Conducting research into all our user groups forms the backbone of our device developments process. Our experienced Human Factors (HF) Engineering function is key to obtaining this understanding and driving the user needs throughout the device development cycle.

Our HF department has many years’ experience and excels in directing device designs to better suit user’s needs. Our principal objective is to ensure that the final injection device is safe and effective for use by a diverse range of users, and the work of the HF team safeguards against any discrepancies being overlooked. Establishing product requirements starts early in the concept phase of product development by using HF best practice and insights from formative testing and customer research, to deeply understand and influence the user-interface.

From this initial phase, our product design engineers work with our HF function to conceptualize the best possible device designs to address our user’s needs. Our in-house design engineers generate remarkable solutions to complex device challenges using the latest design development approaches and software, with every step of the design process engineered towards achieving an effective user centric design. Once we have some initial design concepts we move to the prototyping stage. We can handle multiple material prototypes with the development of moulding machines and tooling capability. We have also developed an advanced risk management process that allows us to think intelligently about hazards to healthcare providers and their patients. 

All these moving parts come under our holistic approach to research and development and drive towards achieving one common goal, product design that keeps the patient’s experience at its core. One of our devices where this product philosophy is most evident is Aidaptus®, our 2-step single-use auto-injector. Compatible with either a 1mL or 2.25mL prefilled syringe, Aidaptus combines innovative patient centric design and novel technologies, has automatic needle shielding providing protection from needlestick injuries before, during and after use while also helping to reduce needle phobia. 

Some of the device’s main features which consider the whole patient experience are the large clear window to give easy drug visibility which aids accurate dose delivery, automatic needle shielding and audible and visual notifications to provide clear feedback to the user on when the injection has been completed. Furthermore, the research and testing from our HF team found that all patients were able to handle the device and there were no unforeseen usability issues. 

Our rigorous and clearly focused product development process is finely tuned and interconnected to ensure the patients who use our devices receive effective and safe care. As a key stakeholder within the healthcare industry, we understand the importance of medical devices that have been designed with the patient experience in mind. We are committed to continually listening to those who use our products and engaging with patients to drive the innovation of tomorrow.