Reimagining an Inhaled Experience: Improving the Design of Asthma Inhalers
People with asthma must learn to manage their condition by using inhalers routinely, as asthma is a chronic illness. Existing literature has predominantly focused on inhaler use techniques, misuse and lack of use, with minimal attempt to address the deep-rooted stigma associated with inhaler devices. This project aimed to improve the product design of inhalers. A human-centred design approach within an action research methodology was used to ensure that users were at the forefront of the development process instead of being evidence-based, which drives medical research. The findings showed a clear need for a more intuitive and modern inhaler design. An opportunity was identified to consider its form and function and the relationship between asthmatics and healthcare providers. Design outcomes include a smart inhaler concept at the centre of a proposed asthma-care eco-system to motivate consistent use, having explored aesthetics, usability, and interaction. This project highlighted the complexity of asthma treatment and revealed that more collaborative engagement with asthmatics is encouraged as part of further research into user experiences. However, it sets a precedent for future design research in asthma and potentially for other respiratory illness product development.