The Metrology for Drug Delivery project, funded by the EMRP (European Metrology Research Programme), started in 2012.
The initial joint research project (JRP) aimed to develop:
- traceable calibration services for drug delivery systems for flow rates down to 1 nl/min transfer standards for onsite calibration
- assessment of the drug delivery devices
- a best practice guide for drug delivery
This JRP was finalized in 2015 – see report for a full description. As part of the development of the metrological infrastructure, the researchers also investigated parameters that influence the accuracy of the treatment, related to human behavior and equipment. This knowledge was disseminated in a first e-learning.
Metrological infrastructure and best practices
To improve the accuracy and efficiency of patient treatment, methods needed to be developed for the reliable and accurate delivery of drugs to patients. In order to do this, the metrological infrastructure for pharmaceutical drug delivery needed improvement. Between 2012 and 2015, the consortium improved the infrastructure, consisting of traceable calibration services for drug delivery systems for flow rates down to 10-100 nl/min. This is several orders of magnitude lower than the lowest calibration service available in Europe at that time; the primary standard went down to 16 ul/min, however below 100 ml/min there had never been a formal validation of primary standards by means of a (key) comparison. Read more about the new metrological infrastructure.
The Best Practice Guide that resulted from the project is based on the assessment carried out for drug delivery devices. It focuses on the safe and sound usage of various types of drug delivery devices. Read more about the assessment and the Best Practice Guide.
Why was the project initiated?
There are various examples where adverse incidents, morbidity and/or mortality, can be traced back to poor drug delivery. Consequently, the health community using (multi-pump) infusion technology needed new calibration services and improved knowledge and understanding of the equipment they are using. Infusion technology suppliers needed traceability and lower calibration uncertainties in order to improve their products. Finally, hospital technicians in charge of the maintenance of the infusion pumps needed a better understanding of the impact of the physical parameters and needed better equipment for their cross checks.
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The following partners contributed to the initial project as part of the consortium: