Diabetes patients depending on lifelong insulin treatment have to administer the vital medication to themselves using insulin pumps, syringes or pens. Swiss company Ypsomed offers UnoPen, a disposable pen with variable dose setting, for this and other multi-dose therapies.
Schreiner MediPharm based in Germany has developed an NFC-Label for this injection aid that serves as a communication interface between the injector and the Smart Pilot — an electronic pen add-on. The resulting smart device interactively supports patients in using the pen and helps them adhere to their therapy plans.
Schreiner MediPharm designed the label with an integrated NFC chip precisely for the combination of the UnoPen and the SmartPilot. With the NFC-Label, the drug can automatically be identified, authenticated and checked in terms of its expiration date.
Due to the smart device, the time and date of the injection as well as the delivered dose are tracked and transmitted to the patient’s related smartphone app via Bluetooth. Patients are interactively guided through the injection process, assisted in correctly using the pen in real time or informed about inconsistencies — for instance, in the event of deviations from the therapy plan or accidental attempts to inject themselves twice.
Also integrated is a temperature monitoring feature that issues a warning in case the pen was exposed to critical temperatures while being used or stored. Sensor technology installed in the SmartPilot that digitally connects the UnoPen enables this function. It is activated by simply attaching the smart device to the pen without covering the cap, the dose scaling mechanism and the button that triggers the injection. The device remains on the pen throughout the injection process.
Schreiner MediPharm and Ypsomed were development partners already in the SmartPilot application project for the YpsoMate auto-injector. “We selected Schreiner MediPharm as cooperation partner again to offer pharma customers an optimal combination of connected device and smart NFC-Label,” says Andreas Schneider, Innovation & Business Development Director at Ypsomed.
The narrow radius of the pen and the small tolerances of the attached device posed particular challenges this time. Another key objective was automated processing, because the label-integrated NFC chip has to reliably function from production through to use by the patient. Schreiner MediPharm utilizes a special design ensuring end-to-end functionality.