For Patients Who Self Inject, Training Devices Offer New Help

(DGIwire)—When Aniyah Jackson was 20 months old, her family learned she was born with Turner syndrome. Now age four, Aniyah has been receiving growth hormone shots, administered by her mother, once a day for about a year and a half. In a recent news segment aired on WKMG-TV, a CBS affiliate based in Orlando, Aniyah’s mother admitted that giving the shots was a challenge—and said teaching her husband and her child’s grandparents how to use the autoinjectors containing the treatment was an added stress.

“For anyone needing to self-inject via autoinjector, including parents administering medication to their children, the initial training period can be stressful,” says Joe Reynolds, research manager at Noble. “For these individuals, injection trainers have been developed to take people through the injection experience, with the aim of providing a better experience for patients who need to build confidence and muscle memory with their self-injections.”

Noble offers platform-based and tailored training for prefilled syringes, autoinjectors, wearable injection devices and inhalers with the goal of increasing patient adherence and confidence. The company primarily works with various device and pharmaceutical manufacturers to develop training solutions for pharmaceutical brands.

Medications differ in their chemical properties and viscosity, which affects the drug delivery device that is best suited to administer the particular drug product. As such, Noble adjusts the engineering parameters of the training device to simulate the look, feel and function of its commercial analogue to ensure patients are training with a device that resembles the true drug delivery system as closely as possible.

Recent studies have found that only 61 percent of patients read the Instructions for Use (IFU) and other forms of print collateral commonly used for patient training, education and risk management. Consequently, 84 percent of patients make errors when using autoinjectors, many of which could be mitigated through proper training and onboarding.

Depending on when the patient receives the medication, and its dosing frequency, the patient may not completely remember the correct operation sequence of the drug delivery device. This knowledge gap increases the likelihood of device usage errors. This lack of retention and recall is illustrated in the forgetting curve theory, which finds that patients forget common information shared with them after only one hour—and it’s even more difficult to remember that information as time goes on. Within one week, patients often forget 90 percent of what they were taught.

A recent study sponsored by Noble showed that injection training devices help patients understand the device and internalize the steps required for a successful self-injection. Ninety-two percent of participants stated they would prefer to receive a training device to take home and practice with prior to conducting their self-injection. When asked to describe the most important aspects of effective training devices, participants said that ideal training devices should work exactly like the real device, naturally sans the actual needle and medication.

“Those who have been prescribed an autoinjector should be sure to ask their healthcare provider about all available training options, including the potential use of a trainer,” Reynolds adds.