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Developing Next Generation Wearable Drug Delivery Systems

The Challenge

Build on the successful launch of a first generation on-body wearable delivery system by innovating and optimizing the next generation patient experience. 

The Solution

An intuitive and elegant patient injection experience targeting key value drivers for all stakeholders.

The Story

Disease treatment regimens and drug formulations continue to evolve, impacting drug delivery volumes and methods of delivery. A market leader looked to redefine the next-generation wearable systems to accommodate the changing industry needs.


This initiative required a diverse team of experts collaborating and innovating to develop a solution that's desirable by patients while being technically feasible and commercially viable.


Design Contributions



Design Research
Human Factors
Interaction Design 
Branding / Logo


Training Materials
Instructional Design 
Concept Sketching
Design Language
Industrial Design
Branding / Logo


Demo Videos

The Solution

An intuitive and elegant  patient injection experience targeting key value drivers for all stakeholders


Working through our design process the team identified key interactions and explored a wide range of solutions that supported intuitive use, such as grouping feedback indicators to guide device orientation and evaluating feature placement for accessibility.


An elegant form factor incorporating extensive ergonomic forethought, usability and human factors considerations ensuring the design language integrates foundational design principles guiding workflows and eliminating the potential for user error at every step.


Providing pharmaceutical companies the ability to deliver life-changing therapies while instilling patient confidence to comfortably and conveniently manage their care at home, relieving burden across the healthcare system.


Project Details Below

The Design Process

Following a best-practice human-centered design process, the next generation wearable design team immersed themselves in patient populations, existing treatment modalities, and all stakeholder's needs involved in patient disease management at home.  We performed research to drive needs prioritization, ideated a broad range of concepts targeting critical user tasks, optimized design features with additional user feedback, and tuned the system mechanically to deliver the most desirable patient experience.


Benchmarking and Detailing

Current Task Analysis

Through observational research and assessing first-generation products, task-flows were captured and enhancement opportunities were identified.

Identifying Key User Needs and Design Implications

Synthesized findings from early research were translated into a framework and target product profiles to guide future concept exploration.


Provide a device that minimizes the user's discomfort during use and eases anxiety associated with treatment.

(Example of synthesized research outputs to drive future ideation)


Generating Early Concepts 

Working closely with engineering and technical teams, early concepts* explored pathways leveraging existing technologies and know-how while exploring new interactions and features.

*due to confidentiality and intellectual property protection, these concept sketches were created solely to convey the ideation process and are NOT the actual concepts generated

SmartDose Sketches 1BC.jpg

Exploring Divergent Architecture Features

Early concept exploration generated multiple concept directions* with the potential to create very different user experiences and unknown technical challenges.  Before wasting valuable engineering resources to fully 'bake' any one concept, prototype models were created and evaluated with potential end-users to evaluate critical usability interactions, feature implementation, and perceived value.

*due to confidentiality and intellectual property protection, actual device architectures can not be shared. 

Evolving Instructions in Parallel

Through evaluation and iteration, early storyboards lay the foundation for quick reference guides* and instructions for use.

Disclaimer: This reference guide is not an approved, finalized, or latest version and should not be referenced in conjunction with a commercially available wearable device.


Defining Form Factors and Feature Layout

After defining ideal interactions and sequence of use from start to finish, we explored features for intuitiveness and impact on the patient experience. Indicator visibility and more subjective interactions like device application and removal were scrutinized to ensure proper affordances were integrated into the design.

After defining feature location and information architecture, detailed form factors, ergonomics, grips, and design details were explored in collaboration with mechanical and technical experts.

*due to confidentiality and intellectual property protection, these concept sketches were created solely to convey the ideation process and are NOT the actual concepts generated


Additional rounds of user research were conducted to explore preferences for each micro-interaction such as adhesive preparation, application, and removal forces.  Other key interactions like button shape, pressing force, tactile and audible feedback were also evaluated and optimized based on user feedback and preference.


Tuning Form Factors and Establishing the Design Language

Scaling Learnings to 

Larger Dosing Volumes

Drug formulations and delivery volumes are continuing to evolve.  We leveraged research findings to scale features and design intent from a 3.5mL to 10mL delivery volume. Additional research was performed to assess and understand any new implications that arose from increasing the  size.


Synthesized findings lead to form factor optimizations for the larger device profile and used key design elements to visibly reduce the perception of scale.


Defining a Style Guide to Align the Portfolio

100's of hours of research learnings understanding how people interact with handheld injection devices and wearable products laid the foundation for a research driven design language. The design features and approach were translated into a style guide for use across future products, keeping brand consistency across the portfolio, and reducing design iterations for future products.



Intradermal Drug Delivery 

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