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5 February, 2018 - 10:15 By Kate Sweeney

Cambridge ‘spoonful of honey’ innovation puts Mary Poppins in shade

A fun and user friendly way to help patients, especially children and the elderly, take medicine has been devised by technology product innovator Cambridge Design Partnership that outdoes the Mary Poppins ‘spoonful of sugar’ approach.

CDP is helping the medicine go down with its design of the BeeBetter pouch; a patient simply pushes on the childproof mouthpiece which then pops up ready for use.

The correct amount of medication is dispensed as the user squeezes the pack and sucks on the mouthpiece. And there’s a sweet surprise at the end – a spoonful of honey – to encourage the patient to finish the whole dose.

The concept has been designed to demonstrate how putting the patient at the centre of packaging design can transform a user’s experience.

Once opened, the BeeBetter could be given to a child to hold and operate themselves – safe in the knowledge that they are getting the correct amount of medication. And the honey acts as an incentive for the child to finish the dose – once the top section of the foil pouch is empty, the user’s sucking action breaks the frangible seal inside separating the honey at the bottom from the rest of the contents.

“We wanted to challenge the misconception that children’s medicine needs to come out of a bottle and involve a measuring spoon or plastic syringe and an unpleasant experience for a child who is already not feeling great,” said Bastiaan de Leeuw, head of drug delivery business development at CDP. 

“So we decided to look at the problem from the child’s perspective and design packaging that is not only easy to use but also has a fun element.”

The innovative design of the BeeBetter could, for example, benefit elderly patients who struggle with traditional medicine bottles – and particularly those with memory problems, as it would make it easier to keep track of each dose.

Even younger adults could find it useful – when travelling, for example, as it would be more convenient than carrying a whole bottle of cough medicine and risking it leaking.

The packaging idea could also have a variety of non-medical applications – ranging from energy gels for cyclists to a replacement for the ketchup sachets that spill everywhere.

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