An Analysis of The Use of Wearable Technology as A Means of Controlling Drug Delivery Systems and The Challenges Facing Its Usage in Ireland
In this study, the possible/existing use (in Ireland) of wearables (such as the smartwatches, patches, and contact lenses) in controlling drug delivery systems (such as pumps and nanoparticles) was analysed. The challenges affecting the use of this technology in Ireland were determined. The public and potential customers' perception of the novel technology was examined along with how the creation will be potentially received in the market. Ireland was the country of choice because the researcher resides there and because of the heavy presence of many pharmaceutical companies in the country. The secondary research was conducted by looking into the concept of controlled drug delivery and how it works. The history, uses and the market for wearable devices was explored globally and in Ireland. The concept of wearable device-controlled drug delivery systems was then introduced. The different commercially available ones were analysed and the challenges facing the use were examined. The data collection involved quantitative research via questionnaire (219 participants) to establish the challenges facing the development and manufacture of this type of drug delivery system. The knowledge and views of Irish consumers concerning the use of this technology were established. Qualitative data was also collected via interviews (of 3 industry experts) to further explain these technologies and determine the level of progress in the research & development and manufacture of the devices in Ireland. The use of wearable devices in controlling drug delivery systems is still at its early stage in Ireland and some people have little or no knowledge of the use of this type of drug delivery system. Majority of the participants were interested in using the technology (83.5%), 65.6% would rather use this wearable device-controlled drug delivery system because more than half of the participants trust that this type of drug delivery system is more effective. Some of the limitations of the use of this type of drug delivery system from the consumers’ point of view are based on the concerns on the high cost, efficiency, and accuracy of this type of drug delivery system. The size, look, comfort, and ease of use of these devices influence the use of this type of drug delivery system. According to the industry experts, challenges like heavy regulations and the massive amount of time, money, and resources involved in the Research & Development affect the manufacture and use of wearable device-controlled drug delivery systems in Ireland.