Crushing a pill into fine powder is a surprisingly difficult task. However, for many nurses and caretakers it’s a daily challenge, as many patients are unable or unwilling to swallow medications. While manual products exist, they are tedious to use, often ineffective, and can even cause injury, particularly for nurses who use them on a regular basis.
First Wave Product Group identified this market need for a reliable automated pill crusher and enlisted SPARK as their development partner to turn an idea into a real product. Through an iterative R & D process, SPARK successfully engineered the First Crush, a first of it’s kind product with patentable technology.
“”First Crush is extremely easy to use. I have time to relate to the residents… time to get my medications together. Its time saving, that is what I like about it.”
(LPN, 19 Years)
HOW DO YOU CRUSH A PILL?
Beginning with intellectual property purchased by First Wave, SPARK quickly found that it would take more than just pressure to powderize a pill. Instead, there were two questions that needed to be answered: How much force does it take to break a pill? And then how do your turn that pill into powder?
SPARK constructed a custom test cell that could measure the breaking force of different pills and allowed for experimentation with various grinding motions. After pulverizing countless pills, SPARK honed in on the most effective combination of crushing and grinding forces to consistently turn medications into a smooth powder.
Through a series of prototypes and refinements, the First Crush became an efficient and flexible machine that allows caretakers to turn medications into a fine powder with the simple push of a button.
FROM CONCEPT TO PRODUCT
Once the necessary motions and forces were identified, SPARK was able to design the entire device from the ground up, providing industrial design, mechanical design, and electrical engineering services. Computer simulations (FEA) were run to assure the design could safely withstand regular use and disposable cups were integrated to avoid cross contamination.
Through a series of prototypes and refinements, the First Crush became an efficient and flexible machine that allows caretakers to turn medications into a fine powder with the simple push of a button. Ultimately, First Wave was able to secure valuable intellectual property and proceed to production using SPARK’s design.