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UC students design a better pill bottle for the blind and visually impaired
Date:5/21/2012

It's easy to see that University of Cincinnati design students Alex Broerman and Ashley Ma are on to something with their new design and prototype for a prescription-medicine pill bottle that better serves the needs of the blind and visually impaired by means of a simple and inexpensive innovation.

In fact, the two students have filed for a provisional patent on their design a design intended to have universal appeal but to fill the special needs for the more than 1.3 million Americans who are legally blind as well as those who suffer less-severe vision impairment. As the baby boomers age, it's expected that the number of American suffering from blindness will increase 70 percent by the year 2020.

The students' design features

  • A lid on "hinges" that flips open, as lost caps are a problem for the visually impaired. And twist caps can be a challenge for the elderly. (At the same time, the students' flip lid is child proof.)

  • A small rectangular bottle body, 2-by-2 inches wide and 3-inches tall, that allows a user to easily reach in and pick out a pill or two without the need to pour out a larger supply into the palm for subsequent selection of the required dosage. In addition, this "stout" design prevents the bottle from tipping over and spilling the medication.

  • A distinct texture on the bottle's flip lid. There are eight distinct textures available. Each distinct texture would correspond with a different medication. Importantly, the distinct textures are not Braille, as only 10 percent of the blind and visually impaired can read Braille.

  • The lid would also sport a dramatic, deep color different medication differentiated by a different-colored lid. The reason for this is that many visually impaired individuals do have limited sight, such that they can make out a strong color that is close to the eye.

  • A "fail-safe" audio button on the lid could be pressed for an audio statement
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Contact: M.B. Reilly
reillymb@ucmail.uc.edu
513-556-1824
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert  

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