Merck Serono commissioned PDD to find ways of simplifying the administration and management of its Growth Hormone therapy product Saizen®. The company wanted to create an automatic device that made injections easier, improved patients' quality of life and increased adherence to the treatment regime. Merck Serono also hoped to boost its share of a saturated and static market.
To explore the practical and emotional challenges of dealing with Growth Hormone Deficiency, PDD met young patients and their parents, adult patients and medical practitioners. The insights gained ensured that PDD's design for the new injector would both enhance the confidence of patients and address their need for more control over injections. The team felt that successfully tackling these issues would lead to a more consistent approach to self-treatment.

PDD's designers aimed to strike a balance between the user-friendly aesthetics of mainstream electronic appliances and the more serious visual approach adopted by existing medical products. The team achieved that balance with easypod®, a non-threatening and easy-to-use device that is the world's first piece of electro-mechanical equipment for injecting medicinal products.

easypod® allows users to fine-tune the depth, speed and flow-rate of each injection. This increases comfort and control and helps patients to overcome issues such as needle phobia and pain. The device also lets users pre-program doses, which reduces the potential for administering a wrong dose and minimises waste between cartridge changes. In addition, easypod® builds confidence by displaying a step-by-step guide to every procedure via its LCD screen. The machine is safe to handle too, with automatic needle retraction and ejection mechanisms, as well as a skin sensor to prevent accidental injection.

By responding to the concerns of patients, parents and healthcare professionals, PDD helped Merck Serono to create a product that simplifies patients' lives and aids therapy compliance. The company has used the same design platform to create its RebiSmart™ device for patients with Multiple Sclerosis. 

easypod® helped to boost sales generated by the recombinant growth hormone family of products - including Saizen® and Serostim® - by 7.5% year on year.

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