Citizens of the internet come together from time to time to remind everyone of humanity's potential to do good, warming hearts and restoring many's faith in humanity all around. In this case, the thing that gathered people together was the engineering of a simple yet brilliant pill bottle.
Jimmy Choi is an elite athlete living with Parkinson's since 2003. He has run numerous marathons, holds the world record for both push-ups and burpees, and has competed on American Ninja Warrior for 4 seasons.
However, he, just like the other 10 million people in the world who live with Parkinson’s disease, suffers from shaking, muscle stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination.
Raising Parkinson's disease awareness
Back in December 2020, he posted a video on TikTok to show how difficult it is for him to remove just one pill from his bottle of meds due to his shaking hands. While the pills were for Parkinson's patients, they weren't really designed for them.
Some days later, videographer Brian Alldridge posted his own TikTok video to show a pill bottle design he came up with to address Choi's problem. And thanks to TikTok magic, this was only the beginning.
The design enables Parkinson's patients to simply turn a knob at the base of the bottle to isolate a single pill. Afterward, the person can easily pop the pill into their mouths directly from the bottle.
However, Alldridge didn't have a 3D printer to test out his idea. After some tinkering, he posted his design on the internet and encouraged people to test out his idea by printing it. With millions of people from all around the world offering their 3D printers for this use, the response he got was overwhelming.
A design that is simple, elegant, and smart
In just a few days, they had a "version 5.0" on the line. TikTok user Hungry Engineer improved the design and sent the final version to Choi to get his opinion.
Choi said to The Verge that he was excited from the get-go. Apparently, it takes down the amount of time it takes him to grab a pill and reduces the anxiety and frustration that he feels whenever he needs to take a pill.
It's a fact that stress makes Parkinson's symptoms worse, and, with this bottle, "the time it takes, and your risk of spilling these pills out on the floor in public, it's almost zero."
Some people are still continuing to make tweaks; however, it's already ready for use and distribution to other patients.
As the next step, Alldridge has been working on getting this pill container patented. He wants to make sure that the design stays open-source, free, and cheap for anyone to print out according to their needs.