As the line blurs between consumer electronics and healthcare products, we need to think different, as someone once said, about medical device design, both in how the product looks and how it works. One area ripe for disruption is drug delivery for patients who take daily medications. Covestro (Leverkusen, Germany) has some ideas, which it has realized with a concept drug-delivery device on display at its booth at the co-located Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) and PLASTEC West event in Anaheim, CA, this week. You can check it out at booth 2221 through Feb. 7.
“Connected devices moving into the home environment is one trend that we are seeing in the healthcare market,” Douglas Hamilton, PhD, Global Healthcare Segment Leader, Polycarbonates, told PlasticsToday from the Covestro booth. “A big challenge for the healthcare industry is patient noncompliance with prescription medication. Connected devices offer a solution, where consumers are led by the electronics, and the electronics monitor whether or not they are taking the medication in the prescribed dosage and frequency. Patient behavior then is reported back to the physician,” said Hamilton. The concept device developed by Covestro does this, and does it with style.
Covestro engineers channelled their knowledge of healthcare trends and technologies across multiple industries to develop the concept drug-delivery device, which was in development for more than one year.
The concept incorporates a Direct Skinning/Direct Coating technology, which has been used primarily in automotive applications, said Covestro. Direct Coating encapsulates the body of the device, creating a hermetic and tamper-resistant seal. Both high gloss and matte finishes are present on the outer surface, and the texture can be varied by adjusting the polyurethane chemistry. Compared with traditional spray coating, Direct Coating offers increased design flexibility and streamlines manufacturing, while avoiding paint overspray and the release of volatile organic compounds, said Covestro. A video at booth 2221 shows the process.
We are always asking our customers what they want our materials to enable in the future, explained John Skabardonis, PhD, Marketing Communications & Social Media. “We know that you’re working on some pretty cool stuff. You won’t tell us, and that’s OK, but we know,” said Skabardonis. The concept device is a way for Covestro to show existing and potential customers in the healthcare space that it is more than just a materials supplier—it is taking the initiative to develop healthcare scenarios and suggest solutions. Covestro is a willing and able partner to take medical device design into the future, said Skabardonis. “That’s the message we’re trying to deliver with this concept.”