My inhaler is designed to help people suffering from asthma to carry an inhaler on their person when they are exercising, as pockets are not a very common feature of most sportswear. My aim was to design something that can be carried on the person without being in the way, or needing to be carried in the hand, as I wanted both hands to be free whilst exercising.
Going back to exploring the use of a smart phone on an armband I looked into designing an inhaler that would attach to an armband. This would enable the user to bring their arm up to their mouth with the inhaler being breath-activated. This wouldn’t require the user to press any buttons, just take a deep breath.
I modified the form of the inhaler, creating a curved face so that it fit on the arm well, making it more streamlined and less bulky. Adjustments I need to make to this design include adjusting the mouthpiece shape. I do not want to make it similar to the original inhaler as I feel that this is the wrong shape for a mouthpiece.
Having adjusted the shape of the inhaler, the mouthpiece became my main focus as it was quite blocky and too similar to the original inhaler mouthpiece which I find is already too big. I adjusted the mouth piece in both my jelutong model and CAD. I added a smoother curve to the face, and this helped reduce the size of the mouthpiece and made it more accessible when it is placed on the arm.
I thought about how the inhaler would be reached when it was on the arm and decided to add a feature so that it could be rotated, and so I came up with the idea that the inhaler pivots on the front point, enabling the user to rotate it to whatever position they want. Thus bought up to the face and taken by inhaling.
I mocked up a small smart phone app which would be used to help asthmatics keep track of their asthma allowing them to see when they took their inhaler and even using GPS to locate where they were when they needed their inhaler. This would be extremely beneficial especially when having an asthma review at the doctors and being asked how many times you’ve taken your inhaler since the last review, as the information would be readily available to you on your smart phone. The inhaler would connect to the smart phone via blue tooth and would stay connected throughout the day.
My packaging would use a simple card box sleeve that fits over two smaller half boxes that would hinge apart, revealing two compartments for the arm band on the left and a compartment for the inhaler on the right which would sit in either a paper pulp tray or a cardboard cut out section, ensuring all the materials in the packaging are recyclable.
73 million inhalers are used in the UK every year and over 63% are placed in domestic bins after use. While most local authorities can recycle certain plastics, some inhaler components contain plastics which are not readily recyclable in council schemes.
My inhaler will benefit this entire system. It will enable the user just to order the cannister from their GP, and they would then place the cannister inside their inhaler casing which they would have purchased. This casing would then be good to use with a number of different cannisters rather than just the one. Thus, rather than being thrown out, the casing would outlive the original inhaler design. Instead of using polypropylene my inhaler would be made from PLA which is a bio polymer made from sustainable resources such as corn starch.
My inhaler is designed to help people with asthma carry an inhaler on them when they are exercising as with most sportswear, pockets are not common. My aim was to design something that was carried on the person without being in the way or needing to be carried in the hand, as I wanted both hands to be free whilst running. The inhaler is easily removable from the arm band where it sits and is easily stored along with the added bonus of the inhaler being able to rotate so the arm can be bought up to the face, bringing the inhaler to the mouth and thus allowing the inhaler to be taken quickly without removal from the armband. The current design uses four neodymium magnets, two inside the armband and two inside the inhaler. This provides an excellent grip on the arm but can still be removed easily with limited force.
Happy with my design and how well it works, the main things I would change would be the shape of the front of the inhaler so that it was an adjustable curve in which the user could change how shallow or deep it was, so it could fit to a wider range of arm sizes, including children. The location of the magnets would be inside this front section, as with my model I placed the magnets inside the inhaler and this stopped it from rotating.
Along with the shape of the inhaler I would develop further the inhaler mechanism inside it, which allows the inhaler to be breath activated. To do this I would look at the already existing breath activated inhaler and transfer it into my design.