maxon Story

The smart syringe.

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Predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory: P4 medicine is already a reality, and connected medical devices (CMDs) are at the forefront of it. Valued in 2016 at almost 250 billion euros, the global market for biologic therapies is expected to grow by 10% each year, according to Transparent Market Research. To assure this expansion, medical devices for drug delivery must have impeccable reliability and precision to ensure the comfort and safety of the patient. One recent example is the motorized and “connected” injector pen, a project proudly managed by maxon France.

The motorized injector pen: an autonomous connected medical device

Sometimes called a “connected syringe,” a motorized injector pen is a medical device that can deliver a drug to a patient by injection. It is especially suitable for the treatment of diabetes, a chronic disease of increasing prevalence in most countries around the world, according to the WHO. In the context of P4 medicine, the injector pen takes the place of injections by traditional syringes, offering greater ease of use and an improvement in the patient’s quality of life.

It is an autonomous and remotely programmed drug delivery solution, which is also able to identify the type of drug to be injected. This product therefore has a much wider range of uses than just the treatment of diabetes.

An application of high-tech mechatronic know-how

Co-developed by maxon France, this product represents a major technical achievement, combining as it does the best technologies in mechatronics, molded interconnect devices, and connectivity (RFID and Bluetooth), in an object the size of a pen.

Motorization from maxon

The injector pen incorporates a maxon motor DCX12S, well known for its unmatched power relative to its reduced diameter of 12 mm. maxon motors are a mark of quality, because they contain high-quality drives that ensure the reliability and precision that are essential for the success of drug injection systems.

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Miniaturization of components

In this injector pen, every component has been optimized for maximum space savings. This high-tech mechatronic assembly required the development of a special gearhead and nut-and-screw mechanism. The electronics were also specially designed for the purpose of miniaturization. The latest advances in molded interconnect devices (MID) were utilized in order to integrate the electronic circuits directly into the structure of the casing.

State-of-the-art electronics and connectivity

This little device is packed with technological capabilities. For example, it can identify the product to be injected, using NFC technology. For communication, the pen is networked via Bluetooth for remote programming and monitoring. It is also equipped with an OLED screen that tracks the injection process and a capacitive touchscreen that allows the patient to take control of the injection speed at any time.

maxon France, managing projects at the forefront of medical innovation

To achieve such a result, maxon France played an important role in the early stages, in clarifying exactly what the customer needed. The company then focused on research into the most innovative technological elements, such as MID and connectivity, for maximum integration. maxon France also managed all the partners on the project, and applied its expertise on several levels:

  • Providing global oversight of the progress of the project
  • Selecting the smallest motor that combined high performance and efficiency
  • Working out an integrative layout allowing extreme miniaturization
  • Designing a motorized and networked complete electronic system (custom electronics for servo control, power, and connectivity, plus custom gearhead and transmission mechanisms)
  • Selecting the best partners with expertise in commercial production of the selected technological elements


In conclusion

Miniaturization is one of the biggest challenges for medical devices. Long known as a supplier of precision motors, maxon France continues to consolidate its expertise in mechatronic engineering, bringing real added value to the market for connected medical devices.
The injector pen is a good example of the kind of complex projects where the company's high-level expertise enables collaboration at all levels of the development cycle, from design through to commercial production.


Author: maxon France

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