Muhammed Hamdan, a Wright State student, invented an automated pill dispenser that is generating interest from medical professionals, software engineers and marketing experts. Hamdan created his device in a lab at WSU after watching his father struggle to take his 13 medications a day.

WSU student invents medical device that could launch new start-up

A Wright State University student drew inspiration from his father’s struggles to create a medical device that could spur a new Dayton-based start-up.

Muhammed Hamdan invented a fully automated device that stores, organizes and dispenses pills with 98 percent accuracy. The device aims to improve everyday life for people who are suffering from diseases and required to take multiple medications a day, Hamdan told the university.

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Hamdan obtained his bachelors degree in biomedical engineering from WSU in 2016 and will graduate this spring with his master’s degree in medical imaging and signal processing. He is from Amman, Jordan and moved to Dayton in 2009.

Hamdan came up with the idea after seeing his father struggle to take 13 different pills a day. Hamdan’s father has to take medications for an open heart surgery he had as well as a kidney transplant, among other health conditions.

Hamdan’s father sometimes forgets to take his pills and other times has to discard them after dropping them on the floor, causing him to run short on medications.

“It’s just insane to even consider all the hassle that my father experiences every time he starts fumbling through his many pill boxes,” Hamdan said. “It’s a nightmare, and there must be a more efficient way for patients like him to manage their pills.”

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Hamdan and his friends spent nine months researching and developing the technology and computer code that used in the medical device.

They worked in a basement lab of the Russ Engineering Center, sometimes as late as 3 a.m. Hamdan taught himself how to write computer code and spent spring break writing more than half of the code for the device, he told the university.

Hamdan worked on the project right up until March 24, the day before its final presentation at The Entrepreneurs Center in Dayton. He said he nearly gave up on it.

“Up until the night of our final presentation and demo, I was still in the lab fixing problems with the circuitry and debugging the code. It almost gave me a heart attack,” he said. “But we didn’t only manage to make it on time, but also competed and won awards with it.”

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Hamdan wanted to spark investor interest in the device at the center and he connected with more than 20 medical professionals, software engineers and marketing experts interested in his device.

The pill dispenser is nearly ready for mass production, would cost $82 apiece to make, but could command at least $499, Hamdan said.

“Compared to other devices in the market, this is already a killer deal for the shoppers,” he said. “They’ve never seen something like it before, and they’ll truly needed it once they hear that it exists.”

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