Duluth’s Student Emergency Information Bracelet is a finalist in the National Inventors Competition
Katelyn France first realized her idea in ninth grade at Hinckley-Finlayson High School, when she learned that a medical alert ID bracelet cost up to $ 100 for a single piece of metal that couldn’t not be changed.
“I looked at my high school science teacher (Joe Ranger) and said, ‘I can do better than this!’ “Said France. “He looked at me and said, ‘If you think you can make the world a better place, why don’t you do it now?’ And I took that to heart. “
She created a medical bracelet that includes standard emergency information, as well as a QR code that links to more information from a smartphone, including medical conditions, emergency medication locations and all. another potentially vital detail.
Katelyn France, a student at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Duluth Campus, exhibits a prototype of her MAQR bracelet on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at the University of Minnesota Duluth. The bracelet has a QR code that can be scanned to show a person’s medical history and information in the event of medical distress. Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
If a person experiences a medical emergency, such as an allergic reaction or seizure, a passerby can scan the QR code on the bracelet while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. The code can tell them how to help or where to find emergency medicine, such as an EpiPen. The holder can personally include all the information he wishes. Most smart phones can scan QR codes through camera apps.
France’s MAQR bracelets took her to the final of the Collegiate Inventors Competition, a national competition in which six undergraduate inventions and six graduate inventions are selected as finalists to compete for a prize of $ 100,000. , as well as networking, visibility and collaboration with patent experts.
France is one of the first cycle finalists. Her advisor, Cynthia Welsh, said it was exciting to see France selected at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where she earned her undergraduate degree, alongside students from Harvard University, the Johns Hopkins University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Texas at Austin and Florida. University of the Atlantic.
“It was absolutely surreal,” France said. “When I got that phone call, everything stopped. I think I screamed in the restaurant where I was.
Each of the finalists will present their inventions virtually on October 13 to a panel of National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees and officials of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The winners will be announced the next day.
Katelyn France, a student at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Duluth Campus, shows the type of information her MAQR bracelet can access using a smartphone on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
France, 21, said she was thrilled to participate in the competition, but she is very excited that she can be a role model for young scientists. She said that growing up she didn’t see many women in science roles until she met Welsh at the Northeast Minnesota Regional Science Fair when France was in ninth grade . Welsh, who also teaches science at Cloquet High School, is the fair director.
“I don’t know anything about how to create QR codes or Bluetooth, but I do know how to write a good scientific research paper and how to take the results and analyze them,” Welsh said.
Welsh helped France in its research to prove that the bracelet was statistically significant and put it in touch with other resources in the scientific field, including the application for the college inventors competition.
“Dr. Welsh was really my first bracelet champion and the one who showed me what a scientist looks like and how I can become one,” France said.
The two women agree that France’s participation in science fairs throughout her high school education helped her learn science processes and boosted France’s confidence in the field.
“Doing the grade nine science fair really advances your skills and a lot of things that a lot of people don’t learn until they are in college – presenting, writing research papers, getting in touch with other scientists, ”Welsh said. “A lot of times people don’t do it until they graduate. “
France hopes to find an investor for MAQR bracelets. Now that she is in graduate school – studying pharmacy after graduating from UMD in May with an undergraduate degree in biochemistry – France has said she will need to focus more on her studies, but she thinks always with inventions and ways to improve medical technology. .
France operates under the LLC SMYLE (Scientists Making Your Life Easier). She has already created an extension to her MAQR bracelets: a carrying case connected to the bracelet via Bluetooth that makes noise to help people find it and any medication or other content it contains. And she is interested in working with artificial intelligence in the future.
“I am, in my heart, a scientist,” France said. “I like to build; I like to create.
The winners of the college inventors competition will be announced on October 14.