Baltimore, MD—A team of mechanical engineering students at Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering have developed a high-tech pill dispenser that resists tampering and theft. The dispenser prototype, which features a fingerprint scanner that verifies the patient’s identity and then releases the correct dosage only within the prescribed time frame, was designed to be unlocked, loaded, and relocked only by a pharmacist. In testing, the cylindrical device—built of the same supertough steel alloy used in aircraft landing gear—successfully resisted repeated attempts to break it with hammers, drills, hacksaws, and other tools. In developing the device, the students obtained pharmacist feedback on its design and approach to ensure that it was simple for both patients and pharmacists to use.
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