Pen colors facilitate the differentiation of SoloSTAR® insulin pens by users with normal and impaired color vision

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SoloSTAR® is a prefilled insulin pen for insulin glargine or insulin glulisine administration, with specific body-color features to aid differentiation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential for differentiating the two insulin pens by specialists of human factors with normal vision, taking into consideration a number of human-factor requirements for successful color differentiation. These findings were then validated in people with impaired color vision.

Materials & methods:

This two-phase study involved research in human factors, in which the pen body, label and injection buttons of the two pens were compared, and face-to-face surveys of 103 respondents with impaired color vision was carried out, as determined by the Ishihara color blindness test.


Analysis of human factors confirmed that the two colors of the pen body and injection button for both pens were different for all color features (hue, saturation and brightness). In the survey, 99% of the respondents correctly identified both pens, with the majority being able to differentiate color (95%), label (94%), name (99%), feel of the dose knob buttons (95%) and contrast (97%). Furthermore, 85% of the respondents correctly differentiated between the pens based on all five characteristics. Only five respondents (5%) reported the two pens to have the same body color.


The results of this two-phase study confirmed that the SoloSTAR® pens can be differentiated based on their different body colors according to specialist evaluation of human factors and by people with impaired color vision. The ability to differentiate between the SoloSTAR pens should reduce the risk of medication errors.

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