UK-based paper packaging specialist Antalis has developed specialty ergonomic packaging for vital medical equipment.
The company says its new designs will aid people with limited dexterity, particularly those having just received a diagnosis of life-changing spinal injuries.
Created at Antalis’ Smart Packaging Center (SPC), the bespoke design was originally made at the request of one of the UK’s leading home delivery companies for medical supplies.
Jason Poxon, packaging technologist manager at Antalis, speaks to PackagingInsights about the challenges in creating the designs.
“The challenge around this design was customers with limited dexterity and cerebral palsy, due to their condition handling and receiving packaging that are taped together or contain any significant weight were impossible to receive or open.”
“This was overcome with the use of a small hole in the top of the box and a specially designed tear strip to enable customers to easily open the box using only their thumb or a single finger, without risk of damaging the product inside or risk of paper cuts to the customer.”
“The second problem was lifting a box that would be left at a door step into the property, this was overcome by using castor wheels and a pull rope with a handle to get the box into the customers’ hope.”
Creating specialty medical packaging
The home delivery company, which has not been named, had previously been using standard, off-the-shelf packaging for the equipment and accompanying instructions, explains Antalis.
However, this proved difficult for their customers to open without assistance and provided a poor presentation. Therefore, they were keen to find a suitable solution that would provide clients with a more practical and comfortable experience.
Poxon asserts the designs can be used for a variety of applications outside of medical supplies.
“It can most certainly be used elsewhere, especially with the increase in e-com deliveries and elderly people having to isolate due to COVID-19. This solution is perfect for any account based delivery of heavy goods or people with limited dexterity where the box can be collected upon the next delivery.”
“The fact that the trials went so well and the positive responses the client has received from their customers is one of the best demonstrations I have seen of the power of well-designed packaging.”
COVID-19 drives packaging NPD
Poxon says the company has seen marked differences in packaging needs in recent years.
“We have seen significant push towards environmental and functionally friendly packaging in all sectors over the past year years, the medical industry is no exception. This has, however, been accelerated by the current pandemic with people having limited options to collect medication and medical devices.”
“I envisage a drastic change to how prescriptions and medical equipment is administered in the coming years, with a push to home deliveries instead of collections from GP surgeries and pharmacies.”
Antalis’ ergonomic innovation joins an increasing number of industry designs aimed at aiding difficulties presented by healthcare needs, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
DS Smith developed special emergency provision boxes to meet the increased demand for safer home delivery in the food retail sector.
In line with social distancing and self-isolation guidelines, the new boxes can be stacked in delivery vans, picked up and dropped off to vulnerable consumers while supporting the safety of the workers involved.
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