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Some Perspective on the "Self-Expiring Packaging" Design by Kanupriya and Gautam Goel and

Priya PrabhakarPriya Prabhakar, etc.
44 upvotes by Ashok Banga (Pediatrician at Astha Hospital, Gwalior), Quora User, Quora User, Christopher VanLang, Quora User, (more)
Products related to medicine and healthcare seems to be pretty popular here. This is another intriguing idea that I came across - packaging for medicine that changes over time to show when the product has expired and is no longer safe to use. This design addresses the underlying problem of labels not being printed clearly either because they are too small to read or because they are not printed in a universal language. The inspiration came from seeing their grandparents suffering from this problem. This proposal could help those in third world countries, those that might be illiterate.

The trick in making this packaging change is the several layers each packet has. It is comprised of diffusible material with information printed on the top layer and the warning symbols hidden on the bottom. The ink on the lower layer bleeds through the material until the universally-accepted symbols indicating danger is shown.

It's quite an interesting timed process and very innovative. The package is also tamper-proof, which reduces the likelihood of expired medicines being resold. The consumption of expired medications can lead to prolonged illness and increased healthcare costs. With this solution, the users of the medicine won't have to struggle to understand because of the visual aid available.

Seems like a great idea, right? Well, maybe not as much as we would like. I wanted to bring to light some of the feedback that is applicable from the  "Half Dose" - Pill Design post.

Christopher VanLang brought up an interesting point in the last post.

I'm curious how well received this will be in the US. Blister packs are very uncommon in the States as described in. Pharmacy: Why is prescription drug packaging different?
That being said, this will work great for solid pills that are dispensed in blister packs. Ideal application would be for pain medicines although most of those drugs are now liquid-based or coated.

This design shows it to be mostly applicable to blister pack, which again, would not be well-received in the US, as Christopher says. Although this design is supposed to target those in third-world countries, what about senior citizens from the US? They are put at a disability because of their decaying eyesight.

Hameed Zoltan makes another point:

genius, but you have no place in marketing.

Sure, this might be a great idea, but what are the chances medicinal brands will inherit this idea? No place in marketing at all.

Therefore, although this idea is great, it's very idealistic. It's unlikely this design will be on the market anytime soon. It's not helping anyone, really.

I've decided to stray away from posting about conceptual products. I want to showcase products that actually make a difference, and this one has a promising idea, but it is unfortunately poorly executed. We have to design for outcomes. That's what design is.

What do you think?


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