Vectura_Fox Inhaler

Helping to Simplify the treatment of severe respiratory diseases

Portable medical device design  

We worked with Vectura to rethink the the delivery of liquid inhalation solutions in a portable delivery device used for the treatment of severe lung diseases. The clear and user centric design make inhalation treatments dramatically shorter, simple and convenient. During the design process user handling steps and the number of handled parts were reduced to the minimum to help conceive a device that was intuitive to use.  Fox is fully battery powered and can be recharged with a standard micro-USB connector. It is intended that patients can use the device at home, during work or while traveling.

Clear & User centric

The low stacking assembly and horizontal lying device makes for easy medication dosing by the patient in a large range of situations both at home and on the move. The pared down design expression is intended to present both a device that is safe and trustworthy while being welcoming and not overly technical.

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 off depending on how the device is prescribed.

Interaction & Feedback

We considered the patient experience with the instructional print documentation and the inhaler device together.  A dedicated a clear, easy to read interface area on the back of the device helped enable simple communication in print. Icons are pad printed and LED indicators are backlit through the plastic enclosure creating a soft friendly diffused look and allowing the device to be easily cleaned.

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

Research & Insights

Designing a new mobile inhalation device involved dedicated phases of research and testing. The project was initiated with workshops together with the project stakeholders to gather knowledge and understand the wider aspects of the project before embarking on a phase of research into the target patients. We conducted interviews with doctors in private practices and hospitals to understand their process of prescribing medication with inhalers and gather an opinion on patient types. We gathered insights from interviewing and observing how different patient types used their existing devices as well as research conducted over a period of time with patients through a ‘probe’ pack. This 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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