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MedicaSafe

The original MedicaSafe device

The original MedicaSafe device

MedicaSafe

New York City, 2013-2018

Over the 5+ years I spent at MedicaSafe as a product design engineer, I worked on several connected medication adherence devices (FDA Class I & II), and got plenty of first-hand experience designing, prototyping, manufacturing, and testing mechanical systems in a startup environment. Most of my work involved actuating systems and housing on the cm-scale for portable, handheld devices, on a team that at its largest included 2 mechanical engineers, one electrical engineer, and two software engineers.

The first generation of MedicaSafe’s eponymously named flagship device is a personal electro-mechanical pill dispenser used to improve medication adherence in risk prone treatments, primarily opioid addiction recovery. Using treatment information provided by the patient’s doctor and pharmacist, the device tracks access to medication, locking when the allotted daily doses have been taken. Although the product platform includes a smart device and a software suite for healthcare professionals, treatment does not require a smart phone, regular connection to internet, or even charging; the device lasts several months, and batteries are replaced at the pharmacy during refills.

This device has been in use for many years now, through research pilots and partnerships with recovery centers across the country, and has been a part of several patients’ recovery from opioid use disorder.

During my time working on this project I:

  • designed and manufactured around two dozen injection-molded components, including gearing, housing, and over-molded components

  • employed rapid prototyping techniques such as FDM & SLA 3D printing and CNC machining to quickly iterate and validate systems

  • compiled bill of materials and sourced over 100 components

  • identified failure modes and made design changes to improve device success rate above 98%

  • trained and oversaw assembly staff

The second generation MedicaSafe device, with a cartridge inserted

The second generation MedicaSafe device, with a cartridge inserted

MS5000_3
A disposable medication cartridge for the second generation MedicaSafe

A disposable medication cartridge for the second generation MedicaSafe

An earlier build of the second generation MedicaSafe device (source: www.medicasafe.com)

An earlier build of the second generation MedicaSafe device (source: www.medicasafe.com)

From 2016-2018 I worked on the followup device to the original MedicaSafe, which added new functionality and addressed a shift in user needs. It is a handheld personal electro-mechanical device with a high medication capacity. I was introduced to the project after the initial requirements were conceptualized, and worked on it from early planning through to small volume production for research trials.

One of the most novel aspects of this product is that the user receives refills of their medication in locking, tamper-resistant & tamper-evident containers that are disposable. Balancing the requirements of locking and tamper-evidence in a disposable component proved challenging, and rewarding. I am a co-inventor on a patent relating to this technology.

All materials and images are shared with permission from MedicaSafe.