Robert Noles/Opelika Observer
By Morgan Bryce
After bursting onto the national scene two years ago with a first-aid vending machine business called Rec-Med First-Aid Kits, Opelika’s Taylor Rosenthal is back with his sophomore invention, the RX Pill Machine.
Rosenthal said the inspiration for creating the RX Pill Machine came after seeing an elderly family member struggle to maintain her daily medication schedule.
“I noticed a problem with my great-grandmother … she would always seem to forget to take her pills and we could never figure it out until two or three days later that she hadn’t because we wouldn’t be with her all the time,” Rosenthal said. “That’s when I started coming up with the idea, to try to help with that.”
Starting in December, Rosenthal, along with help from an Auburn University engineering student, dedicated school nights and weekends to the project, attempting to turn his mental blueprints into a tangible reality.
The 15-year-old OHS sophomore unveiled a working prototype of the machine at the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Competition on April 12, winning first place and securing the necessary funding from the investor panel to continue the product’s development.
The machine, similar in size to a Keurig coffee maker, possesses an interactive touch screen and scanner that allows users to enter their prescriptions, dosages and dispensing schedules.
In case someone forgets to take their medication, it will alert the person or caregiver through intermittent beeping, personalized voice recordings or notifications sent via text, phone call or email.
The machine also has advanced security features, like a biometric fingerprint scanner, to ensure safety and appropriate access to medication.
“In my research, three billion people in the world take a pill each day … I feel like this machine is going to make a huge impact on people’s lives because the last several years, getting people to take their pills has been one of the major problems in the healthcare industry,” Rosenthal said.
The next step in Rosenthal’s journey is the national YEA Investor’s Panel Competition in Rochester, N.Y., May 5, where the RX Pill Machine will go head-to-head with other cutting-edge inventions and products from across the country.
“I definitely feel like it’s got huge potential. I think if the judges understand the idea and the problem I’m trying to solve, especially if they’ve experienced this before, I feel very comfortable about going up there and being able to compete,” Rosenthal said.
Following the competition, Rosenthal said the machine will still need to be beta-tested and perfected before it will be available for mass production, which is slated for next summer.