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REF2021 Eyedropper Research and Design Development Project

Titley, Will; Adamson, Liz


Will Titley


Will Titley
Project Member


This research (funded by the Glaucoma Association £75k and ENU £45k) developed for this output centred upon the foundation of an Interdisciplinary Research Team at ENU from the Schools of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care (Liz Adamson), Engineering and the Built Environment (Ian Hunt), and Arts and Creative Industries (Will Titley).
In 2016 research conducted by Liz Adamson and Garth Kendall concluded that the majority of people taking eye drops for conditions such as glaucoma and dry-eye syndrome had difficulty in self-administering prescribed drugs due to physical difficulties in holding and squeezing the bottle. Existing devices designed to assist patients are not universal and have had limited success.
This research sought to discover if alternative packaging and delivery method for eye treatments could be developed and co-designed with users, eye specialists and pharmaceutical representatives to allow users to self-administer their treatments with the correct dosage and without physical discomfort.
In design terms there are few pharmaceutical products that challenge the norm, which is clearly shown in the case of glaucoma treatments which are small plastic bottles that are difficult to grip and squeeze (to administer the treatment). Affordance of self-administration of fluid treatments is prone to potential over or under dosage which can have significant effects upon the individual.
Given the interdisciplinary and inter-organisational nature of this study then a ‘Multi-level, mixed-method design’1 was adopted, using a mixed method design toolset to develop prototype solutions through an iterative model. The research engaged with charities / stakeholders, created a steering committee of related professionals from health industries and employed focus groups incorporating, elements of co-design in the process of defining and applying Design iteration and prototyping.
The output and the associated body of design prototypes it has generated, has have been disseminated as a forthcoming paper for Design Principles and Practice, a report to the Glaucoma Society, THEA Pharmaceutical and I4 Design (who are willing to co-invest in product development).
Available online at:

1 COLLINS, H. (2015). Creative research: the theory and practice for the creative industries. London, Bloomsbury.

Digital Artefact Type Other
Deposit Date Jul 23, 2019
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