It is a problem of refrigeration. Almost half of the pharmaceuticals sold in the United States are biologics that must be kept at a specific temperature.
Millions of people worry about properly maintaining their prescription drugs, says Theodora Christopher, who came up with a potentially affordable and reliable solution during an honors seminar at Northeastern. She and Anastasia Mavridis are leading a new venture, SaluTemp, to develop a temperature-sensing device that will provide patients with alerts as well as drug facts, enabling them to safely store and use their medications
“She had a flare-up [of her illness] and it was awful,” says Christopher, who is studying biology. Christopher became aware of the issue of drug storage during a 2018 Dialogue of Civilizations visit to Britain when a classmate fell ill after her medication had been exposed during a power outage.
Christopher recalled that incident two years later at a Northeastern seminar, Entrepreneurship in Health Sciences. She and classmate Benjamin Dottinger created a Shark Tank-style presentation for a theoretical healthcare product that would help people take care of their medications.
“Initially, we didn’t think anything of it,” says Christopher. Then the judges urged them to pursue their idea. “So we started looking for avenues to make it real.”