Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in

Injecting smart solutions

Case study: Improving treatment outcomes of growth hormone therapy by collaborating with children to design 'smart' injection devices

Published: 16 Nov 2011

Injecting smart solutions

Design 4 Health finalist Ned Brotherton explains his entry to a journalist.

Client: Merck Serono

Agency: 90TEN Healthcare

Campaign: Design 4 Health

Timescale: July 2010 to December 2010

A quick look

Around 5,000 children in the UK take growth hormone therapy and many require daily injections. This routine can place a huge burden on children and their families. 'Smart' injection devices are now available that can help improve treatment outcomes. To help children explore their fears around injecting and raise awareness of GHD and smart devices, 90TEN Healthcare launched the Design 4 Health Award for which children were asked to design their 'ideal' injection device. Patient feedback confirmed that Design 4 Health made a real difference to the children involved, giving them a different outlook on their condition. It also generated 17.3 million opportunities across print, broadcast and online media.


The majority of children who take growth hormone therapy require frequent or even daily injections, and they often have to take sole responsibility for their treatment from an early age. Previously, patients had only the option of using syringes and needles to inject medicines. Now, 'smart' devices such as Merck Serono's easypod are available, featuring a hidden needle and automatic settings to make it easier for children to manage the burden of daily injections. This can lead to better treatment outcomes. 90TEN was tasked to develop a campaign to raise awareness of growth hormone deficiency and highlight the benefits of smart devices.


90TEN launched the Design 4 Health Award that provided an opportunity for any youngster with a spark of creative genius to design his 'ideal' injection device. Supported by the Royal College of Art, the creative process enabled children to explore their concerns around injecting. To help promote Design 4 Health, 90TEN secured the support of media doctors Christian Jessen and Pixie McKenna and, via the Child Growth Foundation, Reece Armstrong, who has growth hormone deficiency. These spokespeople appealed directly to both the children and parents involved, as well as to the target media. The winners received their award at a presentation where each design was displayed, highlighting both the burden of injecting and the importance of using a suitable device.


  • A viral video featuring Christian Jessen talking to Reece about his condition was picked up by 13 health and parenting websites with a combined unique visitor hit rate of 2.8 million
  • Design 4 Health information or the video link was broadcast via Facebook and Twitter profiles to a total of 46,650 fans and followers
  • Launch campaign generated extensive press coverage in national and targeted regional media
  • Radio interviews broadcast on 16 stations secured 2.83 million opportunities
  • Following the Design for Health finalists' presentation, an additional 3.2 million press opportunities were achieved
  • Radio interviews conducted with winners generated 866,000 opportunities.
  • Total media relations activities resulted in more than 17.3 million opportunities. The proposal promised that 70% of media coverage would include 2+ key messages. Campaign evaluation showed that 94% of coverage included at least one key message and 87% of coverage included at least two key messages.

Client verdict

"The evaluation speaks for itself – Design 4 Health was a superbly well planned and executed campaign which underpinned our brand values and exceeded expectations in terms of media coverage.  More than that, though, 90TEN delivered a programme that genuinely engaged patients and made a truly positive impact on the way children and their families deal with the burden of growth hormone therapy injections." 
Sarah Pharaoh, Merck Serono

Two quotes from finalists' parents:
"The Design for Health Award served to highlight the needs and aspirations of children using injection devices, both in terms of public awareness of these health issues and most importantly to raise the self esteem of those children involved."

"I'm really pleased our daughter got involved with the Award – it's boosted her confidence and given her a different outlook on her illness."

Featured jobs

Subscribe to our email news alerts


Add my company
mXm Medical Communications

mXm Medical Communications meets the needs of pharmaceutical marketers and medics who require a highly experienced, bespoke service from their...