Properly administering drugs to children is a continuing problem in developing nations. Often, health care professionals in these areas only have adult doses of medication, which are then incorrectly prescribed and can lead to increased child mortality. To answer this call Nectar Design has designed a new adjustable medicine dispenser that allows health care professionals to administer drugs to children in precise doses. This effort is in collaboration with The Releef Initiative, a non-profit pharmaceutical corporation that’s dedicated to reducing childhood mortality in the developing world through innovative pharmaceutical products.
The Releef Initiative has responded to this issue with a new pharmaceutical form factor, a small, coated medicinal bead which ranges from 0.5 to 1 millimeter in diameter; this can be readily mixed with food or water and given to children with their meals. Although pharmaceutical companies will manufacture the beads, Nectar Design was commissioned with the creation of the dispenser, which allows for easy drug administration. Nectar Design supplied all the industrial design services for the Releef dispenser on a pro bono basis, including general research and human factor studies, configuration, refined mechanical layouts, and prototypes.
The genius of this design is in its simplicity. Administering drugs is not an arbitrary task, however this device makes the process intuitive. Bringing attention to the dosing and dispensing mechanism, one immediately notices that the dosing indicator is pictographic which allows for the device to be used in any country. Furthermore, the dispensing mechanism is a simple button, whose use is a no-brainer. So can design save lives? If applied properly and with conscience, yes. So bravo to Nectar Design and The Releef Initiative for creating such a beautiful, intuitive and ultimately life saving device.