Aria Therapeutic Vapor Inhaler medical device design active edition detail of actuator button

Design and innovation strategy firm THRIVE has been honored with top honors at the 2017 International Spark Design and Architecture Awards for Medical Device Design and its innovative re-imagination of the ubiquitous asthma rescue inhaler. Called Aria, the firm used contextual inquiry and insight into human factors and ergonomics to create a consumer medical device designed with human needs in mind. Spark is unique in a world of many design competitions because it is multi-disciplinary, reflecting the modern fact that most designers work on teams in this fashion. Spark sees technology as a great enabling tool, that is helping all of society to be more creative, productive and innovative.

Unique Innovation Strategy and Design for Aria Therapeutic Rescue Inhaler

Aria Therapeutic Vapor Inhaler medical device design

Aria tackles a medical device design that’s persisted for decades—the disposable, indiscreet, often difficult to use asthma rescue inhaler. Looking toward other industries for insight, THRIVE used vapor technology in Aria’s medication delivery to allow for more flexibility in the types of drugs that can be administered, making timing and administering doses easier. The firm also used medical ethnography and usability studies to determine the most comfortable and useful form of the device.  The result is four models — Aria Kids, Aria Contemporary, Aria Sport and Aria Heritage — each tailored to the needs and lifestyles of different user sets, and each designed to look more like a sculpture than a medical device design, forging a stronger, positive connection between user and device.

A connected app adds even more personalized functionality, with a dashboard that features information about weather and air quality conditions in their area that can impact their breathing, but it also takes the digital humanization one step further: With data inputs specific to the user’s ailments and lifestyle, it synthesizes this information and customizes it through the filter of their life, providing insights and recommendations that are tailored to them and their needs.
Aria Therapeutic Vapor Inhaler medical device design user interface design

“THRIVE is excited to have our work recognized with this esteemed award. We always strive for excellence in the quality our design, and winning the Spark Award is an honor and a validation of the talent of our design team,” said Jonathan Dalton, CEO & Co-Founder of THRIVE.

Read more about Aria in the full case study here.

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