Finished product of HAE HAE in nest.
Concept Sketches: Different iterations, coloured rendering, interface and stand design.
Prototyping: Using a range of different materials- blue foam, polystyrene, 3D printing and CAD
How the product is used.
What it does
HAE HAE is an inhaler that has been designed for children, making it easier to trigger and hold with its rounded form, less intimidating with its appearance and encourages children to take their medicine.
Throughout my life I have had family and friends who have suffered from asthma and asthmatic symptoms. Through research I had found that smaller hands find the inhaler awkward to hold and have more difficulty trying to trigger the device too. If the inhaler is triggered wrong, the patient will not receive the full amount/benefits from their medicine. In New Zealand there are 7466 hospitalizations a year due to asthma, 47% of them are children, and over 586,000 school days are missed due to Asthma. It is the 3rd leading cause of death in NZ. Costing NZ over 858 million dollars a year and on average 63 people die from asthma each year in NZ.
How it works
Once Hae Hae is turned on, the device will come up with information in regards to the battery life, how much medicine is left inside the canister as well as provides helpful information like when/how long to shake the inhaler, when to inhale and a reward system for taking one's medicine. The oval mouthpiece is more secure, easier and has better stability when placed in the spacer. The canister is locked in place with a keyhole access at the back that opens up when the screen reads that the user is running low on medicine. The device can be triggered easily by both adults and children with the extension of the trigger wings that can be folded down when not in use. The inhaler's shape and form are ergonomically suited for smaller hands to hold onto- while the spiral textured cheeks, act as an extra support system for children to hold onto when dispensing medicine- This also adds to the aesthetically pleasing and friendly look to the product as well.
My design process was driven by my project research. The process consisted of many freehand drawings, analogue rendering, rapid prototyping with cardboard, monster clay, polystyrene, yellow and blue foam to become familiar with the form and turning my drawings into physical models. The development of my inhaler was reviewed and received a lot of great constructive feedback when I would take my models and research back to the professionals and children. It was from their feedback that I would begin to focus on the size of the inhaler and ergonomics- This was succeeded by using CAD and 3D printing to iterate and develop the overall form, trigger system and screen of the inhaler. I would find myself constantly moving my freehand renders and CAD work into solid works, allowing me to play with the colour scheme and understand the digital shadowing. The mouthpiece was iterated in the same process as the rest- both in size, shape and length to ensure that it fit into the current space chamber. By the coming end of my project I decided that my product would be 3D printed in resin and the cheeks were to be printed in a mixture of both resin and silicone to give the texture feel and remind the user on where to hold- As well as using this gave my project the best and cleanest finish.
How it is different
Hae hae is different by the way that there is no other inhaler on the market that is targeted towards children and has been designed to be easily understood, used or as engaging. This was made possible by the thoughtful design of making the appearance, form and aesthetics have a friendly look to it. The triggering system on this device has been made easier due to the rounded ears for better control and stability when triggering the device- This also contributes to Hae Hae’s shape and form to ensure that it is easier to hold and function when using the device. The life cycle has been increased by the use of the charging port and the refilling of the canister only- While also having my product being produced from renewable materials compared to fossil based plastic. The price may be a bit higher than the current ventolins price of $10-12, but the user is getting more than just a product that dispenses medicine, you're getting comfort, engagement etc.
Hae Hae had received great feedback from users, colleagues and professionals who helped with the development of my design. I even had a pharmaceutical rep show interest in my work and have a look at my project. From here, I would love the opportunity to develop the spacer while also modifying and furthering the development of Hae Hae (turning it into a working product). My aim would be to strive for better portability, retractability, comfortability, engaging and of course encouraging children to interact with the product and have the understanding of why the spacer is important to use especially when paired with Hae Hae.