Student designs new syringe to help elderly take medicines
A design student has invented a new type of oral syringe to make loading and administrating medications easier, especially for older patients.
Design student Rhian Bache’s final-year project at London’s Brunel University has been selected for the prestigious Made in Brunel Exhibition on the South Bank.
Ms Bache, 22, realised that with an increasingly elderly population often taking many different medicines, many of which are only available in liquid form, self-administering accurate doses using a needle-less syringe was a real challenge for many patients.
She said: “Self-loading and administrating medications with existing oral syringes is extremely difficult to do accurately, especially for those suffering from poor coordination, or hand weakness.
“There are two problems, you can’t easily gauge what dose is going in and have to turn the bottle upside-down to fill the syringe,” she said.
Ms Bache’s prototype gadget solves both, and can be used by left-handed and right-handed patients.
The main concept is to simplify use by holding the syringe horizontally using an oral accessory. By allowing the user to keep the syringe flat, they are free to concentrate on the rate of medication flow rather than keeping the syringe stationary within the oral cavity.
From this initial concept, Ms Bache developed a full range of accessories. A new bottle adapter removes the need to invert and elevate the medicine bottle, while a handle accessory decreases pressure on the user’s palm and fingers.
The device is now going into further development with hospital doctors and nurses.
Visit the Made in Brunel website for more information on the prototype device.