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Medivac has a cooler solution

Team Medivac from Oregon State University is jumping on the market for medication transport.

The five students who make up Team Medivac are dedicated to making life easier for the more than 100 million people in the U.S. who live with diabetes.

Medivac's invention, a portable and durable cooler for medications — like insulin — that need a stable temperature to be effective, was inspired by news of diabetic deaths in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

Read on to learn the origin story of the team, what they've learned about the inadequacies of current cooler options, and how they found inspiration in a $3 patent.

What is your invention?

A portable and durable cooler for temperature sensitive medications like insulin.

Where did you get the inspiration for your invention idea?

The increase of diabetic deaths in Hurricane Maria brought the problem to our attention. Since then, we saw how many insulin dependent diabetics need this solution around the world and pivoted to help everyday diabetics feel secure and safe.

As you prepare to pitch your invention to judges, what are you most excited about sharing?

We are excited to share the sense of security that our product will bring to many who will be able to live their lives to the fullest with our product. We just want to see an improvement in quality of life for diabetics and this is a great opportunity to bring awareness to their struggles.

Who are your invention heroes?

Dr. Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin in 1921 and won the 1923 Nobel Prize. They knew the amazing impact it would have on the world and sold the patent for $3 so it could be mass produced. To us, their kind hearts and deep determination embody the spirit of invention.

Tell us about your team. How did you connect with one another and how do you work together?

Noah Hoffman, Brian MacInnes, and William Christy met in an entrepreneurship class where the concept of Medivac came to be. With specialties in electrical engineering, public health, and marketing, Medivac won the InnovationX Pitch Competition against 50+ teams. As we continued to gain ground, fellow entrepreneur and past competitor Tyler Loescher decided to join the team to lead management and finances. The most recent addition is Teagan Johnson. She is a business marketing major who felt a strong connection to our product because in addition to her skills she happens to be a type 1 diabetic who believes in our product.

What is the most important thing you want the judges to understand about your invention — what will set you apart from the competition?

Most people don’t understand that 1 in 10 Americans are diabetic and the impact it has on their everyday lives. We want the judges understand the freedom that can be found through our product so that those who are insulin dependent are able to live their life untethered from a bulky fridge or unreliable coolers. With momentum from half a dozen pitch competition awards, we are determined to bring this product to those who need it.

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