Sunday, April 10, 2011

Imperfect Design for Imperfect Patients

Multiple times a day, without fail, I show up and have some kind of interaction with an asthma inhaler.

Whether or not any medication actually makes it to my lungs is a whole different metric.

The last few days the asthma has been a cranky monkey humping my back.

Today I finally thought to look at the counter. Zero and who knows for how long.


If I were in charge, I would probably hire new product design people. Zero should never sneak up on an asthmatic.

I do check the counter, but it's still very easy to miss when the inhaler is empty. It's not readily visible. You have to remember to look, which is just asking for trouble as I'm absentminded to the point of being senile at times.

Advair has a decent counter design. It's placed so that it's visible every time you use the inhaler.

But I can't use Advair. It messes with my heart. So I use other inhalers, that essentially had the B team of product design people.

Basically the inhaler design assumes the patient is perfect and never has a lapse in memory.

Yeah, right.

1 comment:

  1. Yep totally have that problem too. If I didn't run out of inhaler the day after I run out of allergy med I might never notice.


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