Team Consulting partners with AstraZeneca to deliver an award-winning sustainable trainer pen

AstraZeneca and Team Consulting have been recognised for their innovative design of a new trainer pen used to help patients familiarise themselves with their devices before they self-inject for the first time.

This new trainer pen has won a Good Design Award, a global accolade that honours both products and industry leaders in design and manufacturing.

The new device is effective in training patients on how to use their auto-injectors correctly, while its simple and cost-efficient yet robust mechanics are designed for repeated use. It is now being used on the market, providing active support to healthcare professionals in training patients.

Focusing on patient-centric instructions for use, the new pen design offers a straightforward four step training experience to accurately simulate delivering a real injection.

Team Consulting helped AstraZeneca create instructions for the trainer pen, adding key steps directly onto the device – mix, unlock, unscrew, inject – making it easy for patients to follow along at the critical injection stage.

The clear and concise sequential labelling also ensures the correct handling, including turning the pen upside down before injection.

The design helps to reduce user error and ensures that patients feel more confident using their auto-injector correctly.

Once used, the device can easily be reset by simply reversing the same steps. These design innovations result in a sustainable, patient-centric trainer pen that is already being used to onboard patients.

Tom Etheridge, Senior Industrial Design Consultant at Team Consulting, said: “We had to create a seamless experience to reduce user error and ensure that the trainer provided patients with the confidence needed to use the ‘real’ injector correctly.”

The training pen has been designed with fewer parts enabling it to withstand repeated use, saving around 240,000 components for every 10,000 devices made.

Georgia Halstead, Consultant Mechanical Engineer at Team Consulting, explains: “In reducing the number of parts and limiting the materials for all of the internal mechanism, we had to ensure that the trainer pen remained robust, especially due to the nature of the device which can be used multiple times to train patients until they feel confident with the injection process.”

Team Consulting and AstraZeneca’s design of the trainer pen is a crucial tool for healthcare professionals to help patients learn how to self-inject with confidence.