We believe that end-user feedback, gathered early and often, is crucial to the design process. JustMilk has completed two acceptability studies with community stakeholders to inform the human-centered design components of the project as well as to understand potential cultural barriers in device use. An additional study in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Pediatrics is ongoing. Further studies are in the initial planning and information gathering phases.
Acceptability in Kenya and South africa
Feedback gathered from community members in Kenya demonstrated acceptability in using the device to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV while breastfeeding. This is just one of the potential uses of the device. JustMilk also worked in collaboration with the University of Venda in Limpopo, South Africa to understand acceptability of the device in the Venda region of northern South Africa. Responses were overwhelmingly positive, indicating a preference for the device over current methods of infant drug delivery.
Tablet development and breastfeeding simulation
With collaborators at the University College London School of Pharmacy, we are developing pharmaceutical pediatric tablets containing life-saving infant medications for use in the device. The team is currently focusing on zinc tablets to prevent infant diarrhea, but the possibilities reach far beyond to include additional vitamins, nutrients, and medications. Members of the JustMilk team at the University of Cambridge developed a sophisticated breastfeeding simulation apparatus with a pump and mechanical tongue mimicking the action of a suckling infant. Using this system, our engineers examined milk flow and pediatric tablet disintegration through the device. This crucial data will allow the team to optimally design the device for breastfeeding mothers and their infants.