Nicholas Wong – Independent Project

Nicholas Wong – Independent Project

Class of 2017

Introduction to Topic

The topic is about the method of distribution of medication for patients and the potential abuse of substances using the current methods. For my project, I will be focusing specifically on the method of distribution for ADHD medication, with my method having the ability to transfer to other medication as well.  There has been an issue with the administration of ADHD medication preventing doctors from giving out ADHD prescriptions in large quantities, certain ADHD medications can be sold as a drug to give others that don’t have ADHD a high. Because of this issue, ADHD medication is given out in 3 month prescriptions with a three month interval of doctor visits to accompany the prescriptions. There is no issue with the regular doctor visits because it’s good to have patients be checked on, but there is always a chance for substance abuse even with the small prescriptions.

Project Description

For my project I shadowed at Bright Oaks pediatrics center which is located near the bel air festival. There I shadowed three different people. I mainly shadowed Dr. David, who is a pediatrician, but I also shadowed Dr.Rogers, who specialized in ADHD patients, and Nurse practitioner Jessica. During my shadowing experience I followed the professionals around and took notes on how they treated their patients, and what they did in between each appointment at the office. I took note of the little problems that the professionals had, as well as the various issues that each patient had, and got a general idea of the daily life in the pediatric center.  Whenever a patient was dealing with something I was not familiar with (which was rather often), the professionals would always explain, providing a deeper understanding of the subject than just looking up the information online. The idea for the innovation in this project came from my overall experiences as well as talking to the professionals about what they think can be improved in the field. This lead to my innovation idea of the protective pill capsule when we were consulting an ADHD patient, and the following conversation with the doctor about the reason for having only 3 months worth of pills for the patient. Part of the reason was to check up on the patients, but the second part, which inspired my project, was that if they gave too much medication, then the patient may abuse the drug.

Experience Description

The overall shadowing experience would be that I would go into Bright Oaks Pediatrics center, go to the professional that I was scheduled to shadow that day, then shadow them for several hours. Following them into patient rooms, seeing how they would examine each patient and diagnose them, and every patient proved to be a different story. At the beginning of my shadowing experience, I mostly shadowed during periods assigned to well visits. Well visits were just basic check ups for patients that are mandatory. Although most of the time they were healthy (which provided nearly nothing to take note of), the conversations with the patients were quite nice, and sometimes led to the discovery (at least for me) of a long term illness that I could learn about. Later on in my shadowing experience I started shadowing in time frames that were assigned to sick visits, which always provided me with new information. One time, a child was having a sick visit which was particularly interesting. She hated the doctor’s office, for a reason that her parents have no clue about. Whats even more interesting is that her relative is part of the staff at bright oaks. She is a child that is often sick, so she visits the offices often for a quick sick visit, which, i’m guessing, is what turned her into a ball of fury whenever she steps into the center. She was screaming and throwing herself around, and eventually we had to take her into the office of the staff member to calm her down. Having an entire examination in a staff room was odd, but with Dr.David knowing exactly what to do, he was able to perform the check up with little issues, as the parents held reanimated agitated child.  Although one of the oddest visits I’ve seen, it wasn’t one of the most interesting. A visit that I consider one of the most interesting visits throughout my entire experience came during, shockingly enough, a well visit. Although the child was healthy compared to how she usually was, she had a rare genetic mutation that caused her stunted growth and learning difficulties. Due to privacy concerns I will not go into too much detail, but what made it so interesting was not the child themselves (although they were very nice), but the mother who ended up talking to me about the disorder. Avid and engaging, the mother told me about how only around 100 known cases of the disease were known world wide. Although the number was slowly growing as the doctors knew more and more about what to look for, the disease is still considerably rare. Pointing out the disease symptoms and the effects that the disease had on her child, I saw right in front of me an example of active mother, drastically affected by her child’s disease, and her attempts at making a difference. (Mother, 2016) Overall the shadowing experience was extremely enjoyable, although some days were slow, I never felt like I was wasting my time, and the environment was always friendly.

Innovation Description

My innovation is a pill capsule that is significantly more secure than the modern clear plastic cylindrical bottles that are commonly used today. The modern pill capsule features a cylindrical shape with relatively small size for easy storage, and a label with patient and medical information to provide convenience.(editorial staff of factslist.net, 2013). This model is very cheap to make, and provides a large factor of convenience that other pill bottles try to emulate. Although convenient, the simple model is also extremely insecure, allowing easy access to the contents for any user that can get their hands on it. This is where my innovation comes in. The idea came to me when I was shadowing Dr.David. We were talking with an ADHD patient when Dr.David said “see you in three months”. That got me wondering, why did the ADHD patients only get 3 months worth of medication? With that thought in mind, I asked Dr.David, and he told me that two reasons. The reason that was relevant to my project is that Adderall is a known concentration drug, that can be used to help students without ADHD focus to the point of extreme productivity. Although taking Adderall without ADHD has detrimental effects, taking the drug is extremely popular among students. By restricting the amount of medication given at one time, the patient becomes less tempted to distribute the medication given to friends and family. Although restricting the medication prescribed at once is a step in the right direction towards preventing abuse, 54.2% of prescription drug abusers still get them from friends or relatives.(Talbott Recovers, 2015). I want to take it to the next level, and add a layer of security on pill capsules to help prevent the abuse of prescription drugs like ADHD medications. While talking to my mentor, the idea of a metal capsule came to mind as a much more sturdy (also more expensive) substitute for the plastic bottles as long as the metal does not touch the pills.(Dr.David, 2016). As time progressed I spent about five accumulated hours doing research for the innovation in the field of ADHD, seeing if the problem with drug abuse is actually as extreme as it seemed. It was, so I became set on doing a high security pill bottle as my innovation. By this time, I had also shadowed Dr.Rogers a few times. By talking to him, I knew that he specialized in patients with ADHD and depression, and remembering past conversations I had with him, I was able to get more insight on the reason why every patient needs different dosages. Every patient reacts differently to the medication, and each situation is unique, so different medications and different dosages are required to fit the needs of each patient (Dr.Rogers, 2016). By using the notes I took while shadowing Dr.Rogers earlier in the year, I was able to determine that the pill capsule had to have internal mechanisms that could be changed to adjust for different patients. At this point I realized that even if the pill storage unit inside the capsule was made of plastic, the metal shell would make the product expensive to produce, which meant that the capsule had to be designed with the intent of it being returned to the pharmacy or doctor after use is over, or to only have one to two containers be assigned to a patient at a time. This is how the idea of an electronical timer to distribute the pills came into mind. Further research was done, which took about 2 hours, and the idea was formed to make the entire pill capsule electronically regulated. The lid that would keep the capsule closed would be a fail-secure electric lock, incase someone tried to run an electric current through and disengage the lock, the lock would shut off in the locked position, preventing any access whatsoever to its contents(Goodman, 2015). Knowing what I wanted as the final design for the innovation, I created it on sketchup, taking around 4 hours to create my idea (sketchup is hard to use). Still wondering if the idea was good, I talked to my last mentor, Nurse Practitioner Jessica. She had a way of looking at a situation bluntly, and when I told her my idea, she said that it sounded fine to her, and that it could even be used for general medication like painkillers (Jessica, 2017). For some reason, until that point I was stuck in the mindset of having this pill capsule only being available for ADHD medication, so that brought some perspective into my innovation. While looking over the final materials needed for this product, I realized that it would add onto the already large amount of funds that america is spending on healthcare (in 2014, we spent 347 billion dollars in medicine) (Sifferlin, 2015). It was a cost that could not be avoided in my opinion. My innovation is made of a somewhat thick metal shell, with an electronic fail-secure lock that prevents users from opening the capsule manually, and also uses a digital timer that pharmacies can change by unlocking the capsule (using the electronic key that pharmacies will be given) to accommodate for varying prescriptions ( MD, 2004).The materials required are rather expensive compared to the cheap and convenient modern pill bottles, especially considering that this product, if successful, would be mass produced. The population will have to pay more out of pocket per prescription, and the entire process would be less convenient for the user, but it would be worth it for the sharp increase in security against prescription drug abuse.

Project Topic

Introduction to Topic

The topic is about the method of distribution of medication for patients and the potential abuse of substances using the current methods. For my project, I will be focusing specifically on the method of distribution for ADHD medication, with my method having the ability to transfer to other medication as well.  There has been an issue with the administration of ADHD medication preventing doctors from giving out ADHD prescriptions in large quantities, certain ADHD medications can be sold as a drug to give others that don’t have ADHD a high. Because of this issue, ADHD medication is given out in 3 month prescriptions with a three month interval of doctor visits to accompany the prescriptions. There is no issue with the regular doctor visits because it’s good to have patients be checked on, but there is always a chance for substance abuse even with the small prescriptions.

Project Overview

Project Description

For my project I shadowed at Bright Oaks pediatrics center which is located near the bel air festival. There I shadowed three different people. I mainly shadowed Dr. David, who is a pediatrician, but I also shadowed Dr.Rogers, who specialized in ADHD patients, and Nurse practitioner Jessica. During my shadowing experience I followed the professionals around and took notes on how they treated their patients, and what they did in between each appointment at the office. I took note of the little problems that the professionals had, as well as the various issues that each patient had, and got a general idea of the daily life in the pediatric center.  Whenever a patient was dealing with something I was not familiar with (which was rather often), the professionals would always explain, providing a deeper understanding of the subject than just looking up the information online. The idea for the innovation in this project came from my overall experiences as well as talking to the professionals about what they think can be improved in the field. This lead to my innovation idea of the protective pill capsule when we were consulting an ADHD patient, and the following conversation with the doctor about the reason for having only 3 months worth of pills for the patient. Part of the reason was to check up on the patients, but the second part, which inspired my project, was that if they gave too much medication, then the patient may abuse the drug.

Experience

Experience Description

The overall shadowing experience would be that I would go into Bright Oaks Pediatrics center, go to the professional that I was scheduled to shadow that day, then shadow them for several hours. Following them into patient rooms, seeing how they would examine each patient and diagnose them, and every patient proved to be a different story. At the beginning of my shadowing experience, I mostly shadowed during periods assigned to well visits. Well visits were just basic check ups for patients that are mandatory. Although most of the time they were healthy (which provided nearly nothing to take note of), the conversations with the patients were quite nice, and sometimes led to the discovery (at least for me) of a long term illness that I could learn about. Later on in my shadowing experience I started shadowing in time frames that were assigned to sick visits, which always provided me with new information. One time, a child was having a sick visit which was particularly interesting. She hated the doctor’s office, for a reason that her parents have no clue about. Whats even more interesting is that her relative is part of the staff at bright oaks. She is a child that is often sick, so she visits the offices often for a quick sick visit, which, i’m guessing, is what turned her into a ball of fury whenever she steps into the center. She was screaming and throwing herself around, and eventually we had to take her into the office of the staff member to calm her down. Having an entire examination in a staff room was odd, but with Dr.David knowing exactly what to do, he was able to perform the check up with little issues, as the parents held reanimated agitated child.  Although one of the oddest visits I’ve seen, it wasn’t one of the most interesting. A visit that I consider one of the most interesting visits throughout my entire experience came during, shockingly enough, a well visit. Although the child was healthy compared to how she usually was, she had a rare genetic mutation that caused her stunted growth and learning difficulties. Due to privacy concerns I will not go into too much detail, but what made it so interesting was not the child themselves (although they were very nice), but the mother who ended up talking to me about the disorder. Avid and engaging, the mother told me about how only around 100 known cases of the disease were known world wide. Although the number was slowly growing as the doctors knew more and more about what to look for, the disease is still considerably rare. Pointing out the disease symptoms and the effects that the disease had on her child, I saw right in front of me an example of active mother, drastically affected by her child’s disease, and her attempts at making a difference. (Mother, 2016) Overall the shadowing experience was extremely enjoyable, although some days were slow, I never felt like I was wasting my time, and the environment was always friendly.

Innovation

Innovation Description

My innovation is a pill capsule that is significantly more secure than the modern clear plastic cylindrical bottles that are commonly used today. The modern pill capsule features a cylindrical shape with relatively small size for easy storage, and a label with patient and medical information to provide convenience.(editorial staff of factslist.net, 2013). This model is very cheap to make, and provides a large factor of convenience that other pill bottles try to emulate. Although convenient, the simple model is also extremely insecure, allowing easy access to the contents for any user that can get their hands on it. This is where my innovation comes in. The idea came to me when I was shadowing Dr.David. We were talking with an ADHD patient when Dr.David said “see you in three months”. That got me wondering, why did the ADHD patients only get 3 months worth of medication? With that thought in mind, I asked Dr.David, and he told me that two reasons. The reason that was relevant to my project is that Adderall is a known concentration drug, that can be used to help students without ADHD focus to the point of extreme productivity. Although taking Adderall without ADHD has detrimental effects, taking the drug is extremely popular among students. By restricting the amount of medication given at one time, the patient becomes less tempted to distribute the medication given to friends and family. Although restricting the medication prescribed at once is a step in the right direction towards preventing abuse, 54.2% of prescription drug abusers still get them from friends or relatives.(Talbott Recovers, 2015). I want to take it to the next level, and add a layer of security on pill capsules to help prevent the abuse of prescription drugs like ADHD medications. While talking to my mentor, the idea of a metal capsule came to mind as a much more sturdy (also more expensive) substitute for the plastic bottles as long as the metal does not touch the pills.(Dr.David, 2016). As time progressed I spent about five accumulated hours doing research for the innovation in the field of ADHD, seeing if the problem with drug abuse is actually as extreme as it seemed. It was, so I became set on doing a high security pill bottle as my innovation. By this time, I had also shadowed Dr.Rogers a few times. By talking to him, I knew that he specialized in patients with ADHD and depression, and remembering past conversations I had with him, I was able to get more insight on the reason why every patient needs different dosages. Every patient reacts differently to the medication, and each situation is unique, so different medications and different dosages are required to fit the needs of each patient (Dr.Rogers, 2016). By using the notes I took while shadowing Dr.Rogers earlier in the year, I was able to determine that the pill capsule had to have internal mechanisms that could be changed to adjust for different patients. At this point I realized that even if the pill storage unit inside the capsule was made of plastic, the metal shell would make the product expensive to produce, which meant that the capsule had to be designed with the intent of it being returned to the pharmacy or doctor after use is over, or to only have one to two containers be assigned to a patient at a time. This is how the idea of an electronical timer to distribute the pills came into mind. Further research was done, which took about 2 hours, and the idea was formed to make the entire pill capsule electronically regulated. The lid that would keep the capsule closed would be a fail-secure electric lock, incase someone tried to run an electric current through and disengage the lock, the lock would shut off in the locked position, preventing any access whatsoever to its contents(Goodman, 2015). Knowing what I wanted as the final design for the innovation, I created it on sketchup, taking around 4 hours to create my idea (sketchup is hard to use). Still wondering if the idea was good, I talked to my last mentor, Nurse Practitioner Jessica. She had a way of looking at a situation bluntly, and when I told her my idea, she said that it sounded fine to her, and that it could even be used for general medication like painkillers (Jessica, 2017). For some reason, until that point I was stuck in the mindset of having this pill capsule only being available for ADHD medication, so that brought some perspective into my innovation. While looking over the final materials needed for this product, I realized that it would add onto the already large amount of funds that america is spending on healthcare (in 2014, we spent 347 billion dollars in medicine) (Sifferlin, 2015). It was a cost that could not be avoided in my opinion. My innovation is made of a somewhat thick metal shell, with an electronic fail-secure lock that prevents users from opening the capsule manually, and also uses a digital timer that pharmacies can change by unlocking the capsule (using the electronic key that pharmacies will be given) to accommodate for varying prescriptions ( MD, 2004).The materials required are rather expensive compared to the cheap and convenient modern pill bottles, especially considering that this product, if successful, would be mass produced. The population will have to pay more out of pocket per prescription, and the entire process would be less convenient for the user, but it would be worth it for the sharp increase in security against prescription drug abuse.

By | 2017-05-15T16:02:58+00:00 May 15th, 2017|Biomed Capstone Project 2017|0 Comments

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