SHL’s first Amber™ auto injector was launched towards the end of 2014 at the PDA (Parental Drug Association) event in Basel, Switzerland. The device uses Pushclick™ technology.
As more auto injectors are introduced to the drug delivery market and injection specifications and patient needs continue to diversify, auto injector designers need to design with even more robustness and considerations than ever before. From a mechanical point-of-view, customers desire a proven mechanism that ensures specifications such as injection time, depth, and dose accuracy are met accordingly. The industrial design of an ideal auto injector on the other hand should factor in various patient needs such as ergonomics, safety, ease of use and visual impressions.
The Amber™ auto injector, while being quite new, has already attracted much attention from various biopharmaceutical companies with its distinct shape and design. The intention behind this unique device was to not only develop an auto injector that is easy to understand, intuitive to handle and that has a non-medical appearance, but also to design a device that is suitable for mass production.
The activation system within the Amber auto injector uses SHL’s newest Pushclick technology, incorporating a shield-activated two-step mechanism based on a market proven injection technology, while the exterior industrial design embodies an organic look to ease the anxiety of the injection experience for patients who are self-injecting for the first time.
urrounding the Amber auto injector’s viewing window are two overlapping leaf-like shapes with extrusions that provide a noticeable friction area for an excellent pen grip. The organic shape of this area helps the device to steer away from the typical medical device look of devices and thus further enhances the acceptance level from patients. For patients that prefer a power grip, the device’s rear section is designed with a curvature to fit the thumb whereas the unique pen grip allows for precise control of the device close to the injection site.
The distinctive industrial design of the Amber auto injector doesn’t end there as an enlarged needle shield remover cap with patterned extrusions has also been incorporated into the device to allow for customised grip where the patient can easily pull or turn for cap to remove depending on their preferences. For an effortless activation suitable for various body/skin types, the front end of the needle cover is designed to incorporate a ring shape to create increased skin contact surface area coupled with a well balanced activation force.
In addition, the coloured needle cover helps to indicate the status of the device. By pushing down on the needle cover until the green area disappears, the patient can be visually assured that the automatic needle insertion has taken place and that the injection has started. A click will also be heard when the injection starts and ends, overall providing audible, visual and tactile injection status feedback for the patient as required by various regulatory bodies.
Furthermore, taking production into consideration, the cylindrical rear body is optimised for mass production and high speed labelling.
Sharing his insight on the Amber auto injector, SHL’s chief industrial designer Jochen Ratjen commented said: "Before we started the design process we listened to our customers and studied different patient groups to improve our understanding of user needs. The iconic Amber device is a result of our Human Factors experience and SHL’s desire to add more value into the investments of our customers."