Product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants has won a prestigious Red Dot Design Award for its KiCoPen smart insulin pen concept. The company was up against nearly 5,000 entries from 63 countries in the design concept category of the awards – one of the biggest and most illustrious design award schemes in the world.
“The ‘Red Dot’ is renowned internationally as one of the most sought-after quality marks for excellent design so this is a testament to the world-class expertise of our product designers,” said KiCoPen team leader Vaishali Kamat, Head of digital health at Cambridge Consultants.
“The KiCoPen concept is a fantastic example of how the combination of innovative technology and great design has the potential to change people’s lives. The user is always at the heart of our medical device developments – from understanding their unmet needs at the outset through to delivering a user experience that is second to none.
“When it comes to the new generation of digital products, that user-centred design thinking includes working out what information is needed and how it is displayed to make it easy to understand, making apps simple to use, and creating solutions that people want to use. The aim is to encourage patients to adhere to their treatment regimes and so improve their long-term health.”
The KiCoPen concept aims to reduce the burden of diabetes for the 371 million people affected worldwide – by making daily management of their disease an easier, more accurate task. The device captures the exact insulin dose delivered and wirelessly transmits the information to an associated smartphone app. It uses energy harvesting instead of a battery – the action of removing the injector cap powers the device.
Eliminating the battery in KiCoPen gives greater design freedom to create a better user experience. It also means the injector can be more reliable, manufacturing and assembly effort is reduced, and the device can have a lower environmental footprint. And it proves to manufacturers that such an innovative, low-cost design can be applied to pre-filled pens.
The associated app seamlessly gathers data on blood glucose levels, activity and food consumption, and integrates it with insulin dosage. Local and cloud-based analytics turn the data into real-time actionable insights – helping the patient stay in control. KiCoPen allows the patient to be confident they are on track with their daily insulin regimen. This, in turn, improves the patient’s compliance and results in better glycaemic control – helping to reduce late-stage complications.
Industrial designer Adam Haynes worked on KiCoPen in his first year at Cambridge Consultants straight after leaving university. “It’s exciting to be part of an award-winning design team right at the very start of my career,” he said. “Drug delivery device design is a fascinating challenge – and it’s very rewarding to make a real difference to patients.”