Whilst attending the Plastics Design and Moulding Exhibition (PDM 2013) this year Kavia’s Iain Hill attended a number of seminars for insight to injection moulding industry sectors and trends from independent sources. In this instance the medical device design presented by Steve May-Russell of Smallfry proved to be very interesting and articulate presentation that showed some trends in the fast emerging medical sector (also noted in the Future of Plastics article) and some transferable approaches in product design, see ‘Four Pleasure’ model below.
Smallfry is strategic thinking and innovation planning consultants, Steve has NHS role for innovation and National Board Director of the BDI.
With the drugs patent cliff approaching in 2015, innovation in the medical sector cannot just come from drugs and healthcare focus is now shifting to the home as a more effective location for patient and costs. There are some challenges:
For current treatments of critically ill patients it was surprising to see that after 22 months less than 20% of patients were still complying accurately to their medication so there is a rising trend in devices to improve patient adherence rates.
There are 2-3 influencers here for medical devices, with the advent of smartphones with high computing power (now powerful than the computer on the first moon landing) and their easy to use interfaces, second are Internet things, devices that are connected to the Internet. The third is the increasing availability of Wi-Fi and installations into domestic settings enabling data to easily sent and received live. The convenience of these devices and systems are proving to be the most successful in the assisted living in the home model, self-sufficiency and having comparative data appeals to human nature.
There are certainly some challenges facing medical devices and the intense protection of patient information as it transitions to a digital format but devices such as the Scanadu Scout is enabling end users to scan their vital signs and share them with your doctor or hospital. In an era where when people are ill they first turn to there friends and family and 1/3rd of people check Google and cancel a doctors appointment because they think they have found what is wrong with them we really need a closer and more convenient interaction with doctors, connected devices such as these will help.
Steve May-Russell goes on to say – designing such devices sits around usability: the devices should not feel like a medical device, consider user issues and stress. People become insular when ill. The presenter references the work of Dr. Lionel Tiger and Patrick Jordon on their Four Pleasure model for product design:
Physio-pleasure is a sensual pleasure that is derived from touching, smelling, hearing and tasting something. It also conveyed by an objects effectiveness in enabling an action to be performed.
Psycho-pleasures are pleasures that are derived from cognition, discovery, knowledge, and other things that satisfy the intellect.
Socio-pleasures, as the name suggests, are concerned with pleasures derived from social signifiers of belonging, social-enablers and other social self-identification factors.
Ideo-pleasures then are pleasures that are linked to our ideals, aesthetically, culturally and otherwise.
Suffice to say we have not mentioned a lot about injection moulding but it is clear many of these devices will be made from plastics and it important Kavia is aware of the growing medical sector and able to identify well designed products with the attributes mentioned above. Our customers that engage with Kavia Moulded Products early in the design process will benefit from an empathy of what they are trying to achieve in their designs whilst getting advanced visibility of manufacturing costs and project success planning.
We currently produce an Internet product for Swimtag so are already in the ‘Internet Things’ trend.