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A pharmaceutical manufacturer was exploring next generation improvements for currently available medication to treat osteoarthritis in the knee.
The current medication requires patients to receive multiple injections in the knee for a full dose. The manufacturer had three goals for this project:
- to better understand and improve the current routine of doctors that administer this drug,
- to gather feedback on using the drug for osteoarthritis of other parts of the body,
- to receive feedback on a prototype syringe design.
We took a multi-method approach to the study. We first visited orthopedic surgeons’ offices to observe current practices while they administered intraarticular injections into the knees of patients, view the spaces in which they work, and talk to staff that assist with the injection process. After the site visits were completed, we conducted one-on-one interviews with HCPs to further learn about their routines with intraarticular injections, their thoughts on injecting to other sites, and opinions on reducing the total number of injections needed for a full dose. We concluded the sessions with the HCPs administering a simulated injection with a prototype syringe into a model of a knee and providing high-level directional feedback for future development.
We were able to address all three goals for the study:
- We provided HCP feedback about the number of injections.
- We provided design recommendations for the syringe to provide better stability while administering.
- We uncovered feedback about alternate injection locations, however, because of the focused experience of knee specialists, we recommended additional research with specialists that have experience with the new injection location.