A Novel Inhalation Chamber Design: Improving the User-Friendliness of Asthma Medication for Children of the Age 3-6 years
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Product development (MPPDE), MSc
Abstract Asthma is a common pulmonary disease, often medicated with the help of inhalers, one type of inhalers is the Pressured Metered Dose Inhaler (pMDI). To improve the medicine to lung deposition for pMDIs, an inhalation aid called a Spacer or Valved Holding Chamber is used. With use of the spacer the medication can be inhaled in controlled and slow manner. The purpose of this thesis is to develop a new children spacer design which is more portable and encouraging than the four currently available spacers recommended by the "West Sweden Region health authorities". The thesis went through the entire product development process: gathering of customer needs, concept generation, concept selection, detailed development, prototyping, physical testing and evaluation. Ultimately, two physical prototypes were made through 3D-printing with corresponding CAD models. Prototypes were evaluated through delivered dose testing, design- and patient risk assessment and evaluation against the four spacers on the market and their product specifications. The two prototyped concepts, The Pike and Bear 2.0, were considered more portable than the four already established products because of their ability to be reduced to a length of 25% and 61% shorter than the smallest established product AeroChamber Plus Flow-Wu, when not in use. This was achieved through their innovative telescopic design. Both concepts were considered to have a more encouraging design for children, but at the cost of an increased amount of parts and complexity. Both prototypes during the Delivered dose testing performed equally well as the AeroChamber Flow Vu in regards to 0s hold time, and 25%/20% higher delivered dose during 5s hold time, for Bear 2.0 respectively The Pike. From the Design- and Patient Risk assessment it was concluded that even though the telescopic design worked largely as intended, it is yet to be optimized with regards to durability, easy-of-use and dust protection. Both solutions run the risk of pinching the user during extension and compression of the telescopic parts, a risk that needs to be reduced in future iterations.