Altea Transdermal Patch System

Transdermal patch drug delivery has existed for decades, but was limited by the types of drugs that could get through the outer layers of the skin.  Drugs like fentanyl are highly effective for pain, but are difficult to get through the skin.  Further, opioids like fentanyl can not be fully delivered using conventional methods leaving large amounts of residual drug in the patch.  This is both costly and a potential path to abuse.  Altea developed a technology that essentially produced very small holes in the epidermis that would allow passage of water-based drugs into the body.  The size of the patch, the size of the holes, and pattern of the holes vary to allow different dispense rates.  

The project had three major goals: to develop the overall product archicture to assure easy use, create a device design that was easy to operate even for users with severe arthritis, and create an easy to use, manufacturable patch consumable. We created many approaches for all the goals and tested them repeatedly with a variety of potential users.  The final system included the device design, consumable designs, packaging design and instructions.  

Mark Fisher led this project while at IDEO.

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