New Devices Reduce Needle Anxiety


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis are just three of the many conditions that require some people to self-inject. For many, training is no more than one session with a nurse, teaching technique on a piece of fruit, or a pillow. But new medical training devices can help patients gain confidence as they care for themselves or loved ones.

Little Aniyah Jackson is right at home playing doctor, she sees them a lot. Aniyah has Turner’s yndrome: a genetic condition that stunts growth.

“Having a small child is not a bad thing, but it can affect them later with osteoporosis, affect the growth of their organs,” said Aniyah’s mother Anne Marie Jackson.

Aniyah’s doctor prescribed an injected growth hormone. Once a day, until she’s 14.

Anne said, “Over the course of that time, it’s going to be over 4,000 times I have to put a needle in her. It was daunting and scary. I cried. A lot.”

Now, newly- designed training devices like this injection pen take patients through the process. They mimic the feel and force of injections without a real needle, and without breaking the skin.

“There’s an initial deformation when the skin is relaxing,” explained Joe Reynolds, Research Manager at Noble International, Inc.

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It’s that agitation on the skin that catches patients off guard.

Reynolds explained, “Patients want to remove it before the injection is finished.”

Meaning patients may not be getting all of the medication. Researchers say after two weeks of home training, patients gain muscle memory. The process and the sensation become second nature. After more than a year of injections, Anne and Aniyah have a routine, but Anne says a training device at the very start would have been a huge help.

“We don’t have a medical background and we should always feel confident,” said Anne.

Noble works with several major pharmaceutical companies to develop the training devices along with the drugs that need to be injected. Patients can also ask their doctors to request these devices.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising and Field Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT:       MB #4525

BACKGROUND: Turner syndrome is a chromosomal condition that affects development in females. The most common feature of Turner syndrome is short stature, which becomes evident by about age 5. An early loss of ovarian function is also very common. Human growth hormone is a standard part of treatment for Turner syndrome (TS) that received US Food and Drug Administration approval in 1996. Today, it is considered a safe and effective way to reverse some of the signs of Turner syndrome. The primary purpose of growth hormone is to regain height in girls with TS. Without growth hormone treatment, the average height of an adult woman with Turner syndrome is 4 ft 8 in. Growth hormone is delivered via injections several times a week. Common brands of growth hormone include Genotropin, Humatrope, and Nutropin. The generic version of human growth hormone is called somatropin.

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NEEDLE ANXIETY: A recent study conducted by the University of Texas found that only 16 percent of patients use auto injectors properly, and that more than 50 percent skipped three or four steps during each injection. While all cognitive, physical and emotional factors contribute to adherence, the emotional elements of confidence and anxiety were found to have a very high influence on patients’ attitudes toward medication and drug delivery devices. It is these two emotional factors that are indicative of treatment outcome, as they may lead to avoidance behaviors that prevent patients from realizing the full therapeutic benefits of the treatment. As an example, research suggests that 45 percent of patients skip or avoid injections during onboarding due to anxiety or fear.


NEW RESEARCH: A study conducted by Noble found that multisensory training devices may be the key to achieving an increased level of understanding and quite possibly maximized and shortened learning curves. The study uncovered the impact of device trainers on patient experience by comparing the number of errors patients made while practicing injection treatments with four different combinations of training tools. The device used in the study was a pen that walked users step-by-step through the training process with audio instructions, detection and notification of an error and how to correct it, and prevention of moving forward in the training until the error is corrected. This pen enables healthcare providers to not only empower patients to use devices correctly, but also to ensure that their treatment outcomes are maximized.



Laura Radocaj, PR


If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

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