Healthcare providers are able to treat complex and chronic diseases better than ever before thanks to continued innovations in treatment options—but unfortunately for some patients who are uncomfortable with needles, some advanced treatments are required to be injected at home. This poses an additional challenge for healthcare providers to not only help quell patient reluctance and anxiety with the prospect of injections but also to ensure continued patient compliance once patients are on their own. Read More>
Many of us accept that injections are a basic part of medical treatment. But for some, those sharp needles are more than just a source of medicine—they are a source of fear as well. When this condition—also known as “needle anxiety” or “injection anxiety”—occurs among patients who must utilize self-injecting drug delivery during a course of therapy, it can bring with it grave risks to their well-being. Here are three things to know about the fear of self-injecting with needles:
Multiple strategies exist to overcome the fear of self-injection: Specific steps that have been proposed to eliminate this fear include recognition and relaxation techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy; having a support person present during injection; and graded exposure, notes Medscape. “The use of innovative ‘onboarding’ programs and advances in drug delivery through the use of prefilled syringes and autoinjectors can also serve as an integral component to successful patient compliance,” says Joe Reynolds, Research Manager of Noble International Inc., a developer of patient-centric, advanced drug delivery system trainers custom-built for the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies and original equipment manufacturers.
Patients acknowledge increased training might decrease anxiety: In a study conducted by Noble and presented at an industry conference in 2015, drug delivery devices with needle simulation technology was found to reduce anxiety compared to traditional training and no training. Sixty-four percent of users reported having a training device to practice with at home would help decrease anxiety, while 89 percent of users reported it is very important to have the most realistic training available. In addition to its drug delivery technology, Noble also offers a syringe angle aid training tool, designed to help patients learn the correct angle for subcutaneous injection using a precisely measured channel as a guide.
“Smart” trainers can provide real-time feedback to ensure proper use: Newly developed adherence devices outfitted with “smart” technology allow the patient to gauge just how well they are performing the steps of injection and give them information about their performance as it is happening in real-time. These automated innovations are designed to work with a patient’s smart devices to detect and monitor each step of their self-injection—and wirelessly collect data as it’s going on. They can provide the patient with everything from reminders to error messages that pop right up on their phone or tablet.
“The most important thing our devices can possibly do for patients is to provide them with a sense of self-confidence when it comes to their self-injections,” adds Mr. Reynolds. “Once they feel that self-confidence, and are convinced they are able to inject safely and in the manner that their doctors have prescribed, they can feel assured that they are getting the best care possible.”
Annaleise was 10 years old in Australia when she first realized she was afraid of needles. As she grew older, her fear grew to the point where she avoided medical treatment altogether and fell years behind with her vaccinations, according to an ABC News report. Annaleise’s story might not be that uncommon: according to the report, some experts say it affects up to five percent of the population.
Very few people enjoy having injections, but for those with needle phobia it’s more than feeling a bit uncomfortable at the thought of getting a vaccination. These people experience symptoms of anxiety and panic, which may include racing heart, chest pain, hot and cold flashes, dizziness or nausea, ABC reports.
“As bad as needle phobia can be when it manifests itself occasionally, imagine what patients face when they have a condition that entails self-injection at home,” says Joe Reynolds, Research Manager of Noble International Inc., a developer of patient-centric, advanced drug delivery system trainers custom-built for the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies and original equipment manufacturers. “In these cases, advances in self-injection trainers can prove to be a tremendous help.”
Cutting-edge innovations in self-injection technology are making it easier than ever to give patients the training they need to feel self-confident. These new devices can give patients an extraordinarily realistic training experience during the first 30, 60 or 90 days of their use of a drug delivery device (their “onboarding” period)—and empower them to lead healthier lives.
For example, Noble has developed patient-centric training devices that replicate the appearance, sound and feel of actual autoinjectors and prefilled syringes down to the smallest detail, offering a vivid experience for the patient. Separately, Noble has developed “smart” adherence devices that can provide instantaneous feedback to the user, in real time, on how well the procedure is being performed and issue a warning if there is a problem.
Noble’s autoinjector trainers and prefilled syringe trainers incorporate a range of high-tech features, such as the ability to replicate the viscosity of liquid drugs and plunger speed; provide adjustable audible feedback that mimics the sound of an actual drug delivery device; and incorporate the realistic feel of an actual injector tip on the skin. The company also offers a syringe angle aid training tool, designed as a way for patients to learn the correct angle for subcutaneous injection using a precisely measured channel as a guide. In a study conducted by Noble and presented at an industry conference in 2015, drug delivery devices with needle simulation technology was found to reduce anxiety compared to traditional training and no training.
“Giving patients who self-inject the confidence they need to do it right is a top priority, and new technology makes it possible,” adds Reynolds.
Training devices could be developed to help patients avoid errors during self treatment.
Demand for training devices could see an uptick, and for good reason. A number of recently published studies show that use of a training device can have a positive impact on reducing patient errors. “Our studies have shown gains in patient confidence as well as reductions in anxiety,” Joe Reynolds, research manager for Noble told Qmed. “These are key to reducing errors.”
Paul Sullivan discusses how innovations in packaging can aid in patient adherence
The pharmaceutical industry is rapidly changing with the growing popularity of biologics and biosimilars. In fact, more than 60 percent of patent filings are made on behalf of the industry’s top-ten biologics companies.1 Due to the effectiveness of biologics and biosimilars in treating and managing chronic conditions, biopharmaceuticals are seeing an annual growth rate of more than 8 percent, comprising 20 percent of the pharma market.
“Device manufacturers and stakeholders, including biopharma companies, healthcare providers, payers and patients, have realised the benefits and importance of training prior to initial self-injections, continuous training and onboarding throughout disease management to counteract administration training decay, and ultimately the role of training and onboarding to help improve adherence and health outcomes.”
Simulating Self-Injection Through Training Improves Patient Onboarding
Although there are many positive changes impacting self-injecting patients, there are also some challenges patients and other stakeholders face, including training decay from lengthy gaps between self-administration, forgetfulness of dosing regime, and fear of the actual injection sensation due to conditioning degradation, explains Joe Reynolds, Research Manager, Design & Engineering, Noble. “These factors could increase the risk of errors and contribute to lower adherence rates for self-injecting patient populations.”
Joe Reynolds outlines the increasing range of options available for helping patients learn how to use their devices
Pulmonary drug delivery is one of the most common routes of administration for chronic and acute conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and severe asthma. As with any device-delivered therapy, the successful use of pulmonary delivery systems depends on a number of intrinsic and extrinsic variables, including the properties of the lung, breathing patterns and delivery techniques.
Noble is featured in Andrew Dunning's article about technological advancements in the healthcare system
Poor patient compliance and adherence cost the healthcare system more than $564 billion annually. It is important that pharmaceutical brands and healthcare providers (HCPs) leverage technology to help reduce primary non-adherence, also known as Rx abandonment and improve adherence to treatment at a patient’s initial diagnosis. To accomplish this, more brands are embracing patient-centric technology as a marketing strategy. An influx of new biologic and biosimilar medications are about to hit the market, making patient-centric technology programs an impactful marketing strategy for brands looking to stand out from the competition. Brands are leveraging these technologies to streamline patient access to complex drug therapies, correctly train patients on how to administer treatment, and engage with patients through mobile applications.
Craig Baker provides insight on the challenges and opportunities in the Pharma industry regarding combination products
Combination products are products that combine two or more different types of FDA-regulated products, including drugs, biologics, and medical devices. Regulators are working to make this process easier with the establishment of the Combination Product Council, identifying process improvements, and facilitating communication between agency centers. Combination therapies are a natural outgrowth to the evolution of [...]
Joe Reynolds provides insights regarding HOW DEVICE training CAN HELP IMPRove adherence
Over the years, many industry stakeholders and pharmaceutical manufacturers have come to realize the importance of training and the role it has on promoting healthy patient outcomes and effective disease management. Many studies suggest that without proper training during the onboarding process, or the first 30 to 90 days of treatment, patients are more likely to drop off from therapy or incorrectly use drug delivery devices, such as autoinjectors, prefilled syringes, and other forms of self-administration.
Joe Reynolds featured article in ONdrugDelivery
Noble's Research Manager outlines some of the fundamental principles and benefits of training devices in the context of prefilled syringes and highlights some specific training device technologies including novel needle simulators and angle aids.
Craig Baker provides insights on future trends of the combination product industry including opportunities for competitive differentiation and brand loyalty
The global injectable drug delivery devices market is expected to increase from around $11.6 billion in 2013 to around $ 17.5 billion in 2018.1 Growth is being attributed to the rising prevalence of chronic diseases, the biologics market, technological advancements, and demand for self-injection devices, which are expected to experience the highest growth rate of 16.1%.
Paul Sullivan explains the implementation of patient support training materials to coincide with brand launches
Product launch is a critical moment in a brand’s ultimate success. Product launches for pharmaceuticals are complex and differ in many ways from other industries, with multiple key players such as research and development, formulation specialists, analysts, regulatory affairs, device engineers, commercial/brand teams, and many others intimately involved. This process takes on additional complexity with combination products—generally, drug-device combinations such as prefilled syringes, inhalation devices and the like.
Joe Reynolds describes how device trainer packaging can assist in patient onboarding and adherence
As research manager in Noble’s design and engineering department, Reynolds helps drug and medical device manufacturers develop training aids that can help patients learn how to self-administer therapies. Some of these aids can be incorporated into packaging, and they could provide additional support when patients experience situations such as needle anxiety or training decay.
Mike Siemer explains the design complexities and brand and patient benefits of developing autoinjector trainers
Autoinjectors have become the main drug delivery devices of choice due to their ability to simplify the number of steps required for injection. However, many patients make mistakes using the devices such as not holding the device correctly or not keeping it in place for long enough. Mike Siemer, Director of Design and Engineering at Noble reports on the development of training devices that replicate the design and operation of the autoinjectors so patients can better understand how to use them.
Paul Sullivan provides insights on the future of the prefilled syringe market
Special Feature begins on page 39.
The demand for prefilled syringes continues to grow as more patients are being required to self-administer medications, such as the increasing number of biologics and biosimilars entering the market. As these products continue to augment and launch into new therapeutic sectors, training and education will remain a critical success factor that will determine a patient’s ability to safely and effectively use prefilled syringes and adhere to therapy, explains Paul Sullivan, Associate Director of Business Development at Noble.
Chris Evans, reveals how West recently announced a collaboration with Noble to develop validated training solutions for self-injection systems
Several biologics coming onto the market offer the potential to make a difference in the lives of patients with incurable-but-controllable conditions such as diabetes and Crohn’s disease. These innovative therapeutics aim to improve patients’ quality of life by not only reducing symptoms, but also offering new independence enabled by at-home treatment.
Craig Baker shares his thoughts on patient-friendly, self-injection delivery systems and the importance of patient education and training
Unit shipments for wearable devices were expected to drive about $32 billion in revenue by 2019 — more than three times the $10 billion in revenue the market saw in 2013, according to a 2015 IHS Technology white paper on the wearables market. Beside the business applications IHS identified, it also focused on consumer possibilities in the wearables market — as fitness trackers, health data collectors and beyond.