Women in rural areas of developing countries must travel to urban health centers to receive long-term contraception options that must be administered by a physician. Time and cost of travel presents a barrier to women. There is a need for an intuitive device that task shifting workers can use to deliver contraceptive implants to patients in remote locations. Current devices utilize a needle to deliver the semi rigid implant into the patient’s arm just beneath the skin. The goal of this project is to design a new semi-automated system that minimally skilled healthcare workers can use to safely administer contraceptive implants.
This design is a reusable adapter platform which will be utilized in conjunction with Implanon® and Nexplanon® contraceptive implant applicators. The adapter removes primary sources of user error that occur when performing the current procedures by restricting the implant insertion depth and removing the need for manual tenting of the skin during insertion. The device uses a modified blood pressure cuff to locate and hold the device in place on the arm. By inflating the cuff, the skin can be raised a channel and be restrained against a fixed plate, allowing the needle to be laterally inserted at a controlled depth along a linear slider system. Once inserted, the user actuates the applicator-specific plunger mechanism, deploys the implant, retracts the needle, and then removes the device from the patient while leaving the implant behind.
I have seen the people that my device will affect, and have met with the practitioners that will ultimately use it. The tangibility of that encounter makes me want to be a more accountable and ethical engineer.
What to Know About The Global Health Design Initiative
GHDI has been working with stakeholders for more than eight years to identify and address global health design challenges. Learn more about our history and core values.Learn More →
Since inception, we have worked on projects in maternal health, family planning, minimally invasive surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and more. Explore our past and current projects.Learn More →