Competitor benchmarking

Location: UK
Application: Insulin pens
Project scope: Competitor benchmarking, Human Factors Analysis and user preference research

In response to research published by the Feinberg School of Medicine (Oyer et al) suggesting that a competitor’s insulin pen, FlexTouch (Novo Nordisk) was far superior to our client’s device with respect of usability, our client commissioned us to conduct a study to explore this claim further. A key criticism of the Oyer et al study is that it relies solely on subjective measures to compare the usability of the two devices.

The study was scoped to answer the following questions:

  1. How well does our client’s device and FlexTouch compare when subjected to a more objective usability study?
  2. Do the findings from this study serve to support or contradict the findings from Oyer et al? 

Lloyd’s Register Consulting carried out a detailed critique of the Oyer et al paper with   view to identifying shortcomings in the study. The findings from the critique formed the design rationale for the objective usability study to be performed by Lloyd’s Register Consulting, which focused on three key aspects of the usability: 

  1. Frequency of critical and non-critical errors,
  2. Device characteristics ratings,
  3. Overall device preference.

User trials were conducted in the UK with a representative sample, including a range of ages and device experience, including users with experience of FlexTouch and our client’s device, and users with no experience of insulin delivery devices.

Benefits to the client

The results of the study allowed our client to demonstrate that their device performs no worse than the FlexTouch in terms of objective measures (use errors) and was generally preferred based on subjective measures, claims made by Oyer et al. The findings of the study provided our client with a sound evidence-base on which to counter the claims made by Oyer et al.

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