HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Some USI-affilated people have been awarded a patent.

USI says in 2019, Steven Stump, Director of the Center for Applied Research at the University of Southern Indiana, was contacted by Morgan Miller, an Indiana University alumna working to develop a medical device to make patients more comfortable while staying in the hospital. A news release says the device helps patient care technicians turn patients on the bed more safely and comfortably.  

USI officials say Stump assisted Miller in applying for a grant through the Indiana Technical Assistance Program (INTAP), which helps fund startups and entrepreneurs in the state of Indiana. A news release says after Miller received the INTAP two years in a row, Stump connected her with a group of USI engineering students and a USI alum to help build the devices’ first prototypes. 

Officials say CAR Student Project Technicians, Aven Kimmel, Josh Thurman and Hagan Hollinger designed the electronic system and user interface, as well as the housing for all the components. USI says for custom parts not commercially available, the student technicians designed and 3D-printed components in USI’s Applied Engineering Center. USI says custom software and firmware were written to allow user control of each device, and the straps for the cushion were sewn on by members of USI’s Theater Support department. 

Miller says, “I plan to showcase my completed prototypes at Medtrade, a medical conference in Dallas, Texas. Not only will I be able to show functionality of my product, my potential investors and clients will be able to personally test out my device. This is all made possible by the team at USI who brought my dream into reality and exceeded my expectations.” 

USI says Miller’s ultimate goal is to have a factory in Bloomington, where she can manufacture and distribute these products.The news release says she wants to employ local Hoosiers who are passionate about changing healthcare and improving the care for vulnerable patients who are at an increased risk of bed sores and pressure ulcers.  

USI says Miller received a patent for the new product in January 2023 and is still searching for a licensing deal to help manufacture her product on a larger scale while awaiting FDA-approval.