Geneva, Switzerland, September 15, 2022 – ApiLabs, an R&D company developing innovative, affordable medical technologies to maximize healthcare access for patients in all world regions, has launched its ApiLabs Field Research Network (AFRN).
AFRN gathers qualitative and quantitative data from real-world settings through ground level investigations, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Resulting information helps ApiLabs engineers develop medical devices for all global markets, which its sister company ApiJect Systems then helps commercialize with pharmaceutical partners.
“Our Field Research Network is vital in the development of medical devices that truly meet the needs of local populations anywhere in the world,” said Edward Kelley, PhD, ApiLabs’ Chief Global Health Officer. “Historically, medical devices for global markets have been conceptualized and designed in laboratories with far too little interaction and feedback from field healthcare personnel and their patients.”
ApiLabs launched AFRN in collaboration with two highly experienced healthcare support organizations. Butterfly Works recently completed its first AFRN project in Kenya’s Kwale county, researching intradermal injections and injectable contraceptives that give women greater control of their reproductive health.
A team from Dalberg Design (India) recently commenced AFRN research in two Indian states, Bihar and Karnataka. ApiLabs will gradually expand AFRN to include organizations in up to 10 world regions, ensuring universal device viability.
Each team assesses needs, behaviors, attitudes, preferences, and aspirations of patients and health workers; obtains qualified feedback from end users on a new medical device from concept through prototypes; and identifies potential obstacles to effective distribution and use. Resulting data guides ApiLabs engineers in developing devices for ApiJect, whose platform combines Blow-FillSeal pharmaceutical packaging with attachable components, such as needle hubs.
ApiLabs’ Co-founder and Head of R&D is Marc Koska, OBE, creator of the K1 auto-disable syringe. “I have always believed creating medical devices starts with patients and their environment,” says Mr. Koska. “At ApiLabs, our design process first determines local healthcare professionals’ and healthcare systems’ needs and conditions, so every device we create is suitable for every global market.”
Merel van der Woude, Creative Director at Butterfly Works, confirmed this approach: “After two intense weeks of observations and speaking with more 100 healthcare providers and their clients, we had a much deeper understanding of the needs for safety, affordability, comfort and accessibility. The results are described in context of specific healthcare stories that allow us to see a problem from different perspectives.”
Prerak Mehta, Director at Dalberg Design, highlighted AFRN’s strategy: “Today’s medical products should satisfy people’s needs, align with their preferences, take socio-economic realities into consideration and meet their aspirations. That is when sustainable product innovation becomes a widespread success.”
Additional senior members at the ApiLabs Global Health Team include Paul Rutter, MD, and Jane Chen, MPA-MBA.
Learn more about ApiLabs’ Global Health Team at apijectglobalinitiative.com and read their free newsletter at globe.substack.com. Visit Butterfly Works at www.butterflyworks.org. Dalberg Design is at www.dalbergdesign.com.