Vectura_Fox Inhaler

Helping to Simplify the treatment of severe respiratory diseases

Portable medical device design  

We worked with Vectura on the design of the Fox mobile nebuliser inhaler device. Fox delivers liquid inhalation medication used by patients in the treatment of severe lung diseases.

A primary goal of the project was to decrease the time needed for patients to prepare and take their medication. Considering this, we worked with typical use situations, operation steps, number of handled parts and assembly orientation. This focus helped us conceive a device that was easy for patients to understand and use. Patients can use the device at home, during work or while travelling. Fox is fully battery powered and can recharge with a standard micro-USB connector.


Clear & User-centric

Secure medication dosing enabled through the solid, low profile assembly and wide medication reception chamber. Allows the patient to be confident in using the device in many situations on the go. The clean pared down design expression is consumer inspired to be welcoming and avoids the overly technical design of many medical devices.

The Fox design is made up of 4 separate parts (base, mouthpiece, medication chamber and lid) that fit together. The base is a permanent part that contains the electronics, battery and motor. The mouthpiece, medication chamber and lid are all washable or disposed of depending the prescription.

Interaction & Feedback

The printed user instructions manual worked in hand with the device design for a clear communication experience.  A dedicated clear, easy to read interface area on the back of the device enables simple communication in print documentation for all major instructional steps. Icons are pad printed on the device and LED indicators are backlit through the plastic enclosure creating a soft, friendly diffused look that also supports easy cleaning.

During inhalation operation, the polypropylene mouthpiece has a dual function. It works to deliver the medication with the right flow and as a light guide for visual feedback in use.

Research & Insights

Designing the Fox involved dedicated phases of research and testing. The project was initiated with workshops together with the project stakeholders to understand the wider aspects of the project. We were then embarking on a phase of research into the target patients. Interviews were conducted with doctors in private practices and hospitals to understand their process in prescribing medication with inhalers and gather an opinion on patient types. We collected insights from interviewing and observing how different patient types used their existing devices. We also researched over a longer period with patients through a ‘probe’ pack. This probe included diaries and activities that helped uncover behavioural patterns that would become insights and influence the design.



Red Dot Product Design Award 2014

MDEA Finalist 2014

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