High-Tech Device Allows Quadriplegic Man to Take Medication Without a Nurses Help
Williams uses a mouth stick to enter a security code and order medication as needed.
Photo by Will Kirk
Whitaker and Stemniski, inspect the computer controls that help deliver pills through a plastic tube to Williams.
Photo by Will Kirk
Four Johns Hopkins undergraduates have a designed and constructed a computer-guided pill dispensing machine that will enable a quadriplegic man to lead a more independent life. Using a mouth stick, Robert Arthur Williams will be able to order one of up to 12 different medications stored inside the machine. Then, when Williams taps a "slam switch" (he has limited mobility in his right arm), the machine will dispense a pill through a tube leading to Williams mouth.
While the students worked on the machine, Williams was able to move out of a nursing home and into a three-bedroom Baltimore area house with two companions who assist with his care. "With this machine, Ill be able to take medicine for pain or muscle spasms at 3 in the morning without waking up one of my helpers," he said. "Ill be able to take care of myself for longer periods of time now."
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