Title:
Medicinal carrier
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a storage device that can accommodate medicinal dosages. In a preferred embodiment, the storage device comprises two body portions having a cavity formed therein. The cavity is of a size such that the cavity may accommodate the medicinal dosages with a minimal amount of movement. The storage device is opened by applying a snapping force along the axis of a hinge that couples. The medicinal dosages are extracted from the storage device by tilting the opened storage device such that the cavity is facing downward.



Inventors:
Maute, Robert E. (Richardson, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/463926
Publication Date:
12/18/2003
Filing Date:
06/17/2003
Assignee:
MAUTE ROBERT E.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/461, 206/806, 206/457
International Classes:
A61J1/03; (IPC1-7): B65D73/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RICCI, JOHN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SLATER MATSIL, LLP (17950 PRESTON RD, SUITE 1000, DALLAS, TX, 75252-5793, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An apparatus for containing one or more medication dosages, the apparatus comprising: a body having two halves, the two halves having formed therein a cavity, the cavity for retaining one or more medication dosages, the two halves including a seal formed on a mating surface between the two halves; a hinge, the two halves being flexibly coupled together by the hinge; and a latch, the latch for keeping the two halves coupled together except when a user accesses the one or more medication dosages.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a mounting tab, the mounting tab coupled to an end of the body, the mounting tab for allowing the user to attach the apparatus to an object.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the size of the cavity is such that the cavity allows minimal movement of the medication dosages when the medication dosages are placed within the cavity.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the seal comprises a self-aligning seal for excluding moisture.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus is made of plastic material and the hinge comprises a strip of plastic material joining the two halves.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a mounting hole, the mounting hole being a hole through at least one of the halves, the mounting hole for allowing the user to attach the apparatus to an object.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the body has a cross-section that is substantially heart-shaped.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the body has a cross-section that is substantially heart-shaped and has a concave point.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the body has a cross-section that is substantially heart-shaped and has a concave point and a hollow cavity section between the concave point and a bottom surface of the cavity.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a side of the body is marked to indicate which side of the body is the front.

11. An apparatus for containing one or more medication dosages, the apparatus comprising: a body having two portions, each portion having a cavity formed therein for retaining one or more medication dosages; a hinge, the two halves being flexibly coupled together by the hinge; and a latch, the latch for keeping the two halves coupled together except when a user accesses the one or more medication dosages.

12. The apparatus of claim 11, further comprising: a mounting tab, the mounting tab coupled to an end of the body, the mounting tab for allowing the user to attach the apparatus to an object.

13. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the two portions have a seal formed on a mating surface between the two portions, the seal for excluding moisture.

14. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the two portions have a self-aligning seal formed on a mating surface between the two portions, the seal for excluding moisture.

15. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the size of each cavity is such that the cavity allows minimal movement of the medication dosages when the medication dosages are placed within the cavity.

16. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the apparatus is made of plastic material and the hinge comprises a strip of plastic material joining the two portions.

17. The apparatus of claim 11, further comprising: a mounting hole, the mounting hole being a hole through at least one of the halves, the mounting hole for allowing the user to attach the apparatus to an object.

18. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the body has a cross-section that is substantially heart-shaped.

19. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the body has a cross-section that is substantially heart-shaped and has a concave point.

20. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the body has a cross-section that is substantially heart-shaped and has a concave point and a hollow cavity section between the concave point and a bottom surface of the cavity.

21. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein a side of the body is marked to indicate which side of the body is the front.

22. An apparatus for containing one or more medication dosages, the apparatus comprising: two body portions having formed therein a cavity for retaining one or more medication dosages; means for sealing the two body portions, the means for sealing formed on corresponding mating surfaces between the two body portions, the means for sealing for excluding moisture; means for flexibly coupling the two body portions together; and means for latching the two body portions together except when a user accesses the one or more medication dosages.

23. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein each body portion has a cavity formed therein for retaining one or more medication dosages.

24. The apparatus of claim 22, further comprising: a means for attaching the apparatus to an object.

25. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein the size of the cavity is such that the cavity allows minimal movement of the medication dosages when the medication dosages are placed within the cavity.

26. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein the means for sealing includes a self-aligning seal.

27. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein the apparatus is made of plastic material and the means for coupling comprises a strip of plastic material joining the two halves.

28. The apparatus of claim 22, further comprising: a means for attaching the apparatus to an object, wherein the means for attaching comprises at least one of a mounting tab and a hole through at least one of the body portions.

29. The apparatus of claim 22, further comprising: a means for identifying a front side of the body.

Description:

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/389,183, filed on Jun. 17, 2002, entitled “Aspirin Carrier For Heart Attack Victims,” which application is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates generally to an apparatus for carrying tablets or pills for convenient and ready access, and more particularly to a small, water resistant apparatus for carrying tablets or pills that may readily and simply be opened.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Heart disease is by far America's number one killer, for women as well as men. For example, 1,100,000 Americans suffered a heart attack in the year 2001. Heart disease affects 61.8 million people in the US, and nearly a million die from heart disease each year. The risk of heart attacks to men is well known, but the risk to women for heart attacks is not nearly as well known. Coronary heart disease is the single leading cause of death among American women, killing nearly 229,000 women in 1997, more than stroke, lung cancer and breast cancer combined. One in every two women will die from some form of heart disease. Most women don't know that heart disease is so prevalent. Nearly two-thirds of women who die suddenly from heart attacks have no prior warning symptoms.

[0004] In 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that individuals experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack should immediately take aspirin. The death rate from heart attacks is reduced by 25% to 50% if aspirin is taken upon the first symptoms of a heart attack. Upon experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, immediately chewing two aspirin could save one's life. Chewing the aspirin leads to more rapid absorption than swallowing the aspirin whole. With a heart attack, minutes mean muscle and the longer one waits before taking the aspirin, the more the muscle is damaged. While numerous studies have confirmed the benefits of taking aspirin, few people actually carry aspirin with them at all times.

[0005] Therefore, there is a need for an apparatus for holding medication, such as aspirin, that is readily available and easily accessible to a person in need.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] These and other problems are generally solved or circumvented by preferred embodiments of the present invention that carry aspirin in a readily accessible form. By being small, preferred embodiments of the present invention can easily be carried by an individual in all situations.

[0007] In accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention, an apparatus for carrying one or more medicinal dosages to be taken in an emergency, such as when the symptoms of a heart attack occur, is disclosed. The apparatus comprises a body including two halves, a hinge and a latch. The two halves have a cavity formed therein for retaining one or more medicinal dosages. The two halves include a seal formed on a mating surface between the two halves; the seal keeping out moisture. The hinge couples together the two halves. The latch keeps the two halves closed together except when a user accesses the one or more medicinal dosages. The apparatus further comprises a mounting tab attached to one end of the body. The mounting tab allows the user to attach the apparatus to a key chain, a necklace or the like.

[0008] In accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention, an apparatus for carrying one or more medicinal dosages to be taken in an emergency, such as when the symptoms of a heart attack occur, is disclosed. The apparatus comprises a body having two portions wherein each portion has a cavity formed therein. A hinge flexibly couples the two portions, and a latch keeps the two halves closed together except when a user accesses the one or more medicinal dosages.

[0009] In accordance with a third embodiment of the present invention, an apparatus for carrying one or more emergency medication dosages is disclosed. The apparatus comprises two body portions, means for sealing the two body portions, means for flexibly coupling the two body portions together and means for latching the two body portions together. The two body portions have a cavity formed therein for retaining one or more emergency medication dosages. The means for sealing the two body portions are formed on corresponding mating surfaces between the two body portions to exclude moisture.

[0010] An advantage of preferred embodiments of the present invention is allowing ready access to medicinal dosages at all times in a convenient container. The preferred embodiments are small enough to be placed on a key chain, a necklace, or other article that the user typically carries at all times.

[0011] While described in terms of carrying aspirin, the container could easily be designed for carrying other time critical medications. Nitroglycerin is another heart-related medication that may similarly be time critical.

[0012] The foregoing has outlined rather broadly the features and advantages of the present invention in order that the detailed description that follows may be better understood. Additional features and advantages of the invention will be described hereinafter, which form the subject of the claims of the invention. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the conception and specific embodiments disclosed might be readily utilized as a basis for modifying or designing other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention. It should also be realized by those skilled in the art that such equivalent constructions do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] For a more complete understanding of the present invention, and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the following descriptions taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0014] FIGS. 1a-1g are various views of a medicinal carrier in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a front, cross-sectional view of a medicinal carrier in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0016] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an opened medicinal carrier in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0017] FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a seal between two portions of a medicinal carrier in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0018] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of a latch between two portions of a medicinal carrier in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0019] FIGS. 6a-6g are various views of a medicinal carrier in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

[0020] FIG. 7 is a front, cross-sectional view of a medicinal carrier in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

[0021] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an opened medicinal carrier in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0022] The apparatus implementing the presently preferred embodiments is discussed in detail below. It should be appreciated, however, that the present invention provides many applicable inventive concepts that can be embodied in a wide variety of specific contexts. The specific embodiments discussed are merely illustrative of specific ways to make and use the invention, and do not limit the scope of the invention.

[0023] The present invention will be described with respect to preferred embodiments in a specific context, namely a carrier for an emergency two aspirin tablet dose. The invention may also be applied, however, for other dosage amounts and for other emergency medications.

[0024] FIGS. 1a-1g (collectively referred to as FIG. 1) illustrate various views of one embodiment of the present invention. Specifically, FIG. 1a illustrates a perspective view, FIG. 1b illustrates a front view, FIG. 1c illustrates a rear view, FIG. 1d illustrates a top view, FIG. 1e illustrates a left view, FIG. 1f illustrates a right view, and FIG. 1g illustrates a bottom view of one embodiment of the present invention in which a storage device 100 comprises a heart-shaped storage container. The various views include dimensions in millimeters for illustrative purposes only. The dimensions are provided to illustrate an embodiment of the present invention in which the storage device 100 is utilized to store aspirin tablets. The storage device 100, however, may be varied to incorporate any of the modifications disclosed herein or other modifications within the spirit of the invention. For example, the dimensions of the storage device 100 may be altered to store other forms of medication, such as pills, capsules, and the like, or to store other types of medication, such as nitroglycerin and the like.

[0025] One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the shape of the storage device 100 may take various forms other than the heart-shaped device illustrated herein. For example, the storage device 100 may take the form of a circle, a rectangle, an oval, a shape of an organ for which the enclosed medication would apply, such as a lung for an asthma medication, and the like. In the preferred embodiment, however, the storage device 100 is shaped such that it constantly reminds people of its purpose.

[0026] Accordingly, FIG. 1 illustrates a storage device 100 comprising a heart-shaped container having a left portion 104 and a right portion 106. The left portion 104 and the right portion 106 are coupled via a hinge 108 as illustrated in FIG. 1c. Optionally, the storage device 100 may have a mounting tab 114 that extends over the center of gravity of the storage device 100. The mounting tab 114 has a hole 116 therethrough for attaching the storage device 100 to a chain, ring, necklace, bracelet, or other holder. For example, the storage device 100 may easily be attached to a key chain, key ring, rope necklace, charm bracelet, or the like. Additionally, the storage device 100 may be attached to an object, such as an athletic bag, purse, key ring, jacket, and the like. Preferably, however, the storage device 100 is attached to an item that the user frequently carries, such as a key ring or key chain. Alternatively, a different mechanism may be used to affix the storage device 100 to an item, such as a hole in the storage device 100 through which a chain or string may be attached, hook and loop fastener, or the like.

[0027] Preferably, the storage device 100 is made of a brightly-colored plastic, providing a material that can be economically produced in great numbers and easily locatable and identifiable. The hinge 108 comprises a thin strip of plastic connecting the left portion 104 to the right portion 106. Accordingly, the type of plastic used may be any type of plastic that provides the flexibility and fatigue resistance for the hinge to function without breaking for a predetermined number of operations, preferably approximately one-thousand operations. Preferably, the plastic material is a high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

[0028] Alternatively, the storage device 100 may be made of another material, such as metal, rubber, and the like. In particular, the storage device 100 may be made of gold or silver to produce a charm suitable to wear on a necklace or bracelet. In embodiments of the present invention in which a material other than plastic is utilized, particularly with a metal such as gold or silver, a different latching mechanism and hinge may be more practical and is considered within the skills of one of ordinary skill in the art. For example, the hinge 108 may be embodied as one or more pin hinges and the like, and the latch may be embodied as a button-operated latch, a magnetic latch, or the like.

[0029] Preferably, the dimensions of the heart-shaped container formed by the left portion 104 and the right portion 106 are 27.0 mm wide by 22.0 mm high (excluding the mounting tab) by 8.4 mm thick. The mounting tab 114 preferably extends 8.4 mm above the heart-shaped container. Furthermore, the perimeter of the front of the heart-shaped container preferably comprises a rounded edge of 1.5 mm radius to prevent the heart-shaped container from snagging on materials while being retrieved from a storage location, such as a pocket, purse, drawer, or the like. Alternatively, the perimeter of the rear face of the left portion 104 and the right portion 106 may comprise a rounded edge of 1.5 mm radius to further reduce snagging. These dimensions are provided for illustrative purposes only, and one of ordinary skill in the art will realize that one or more of these dimensions may be altered without departing from the spirit of the invention.

[0030] Alternatively, instructions (not shown) may be attached to the storage device 100. The instructions may be attached in the form of raised instructions on the storage device 100, a sticker placed on the storage device 100, a tag containing the instructions may be attached to the storage device 100, or the like.

[0031] FIG. 2 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the storage device 100 illustrated in FIG. 1. In particular, FIG. 2 illustrates a front, cross-sectional view of the storage device 100 to illustrate a left cavity 210 and a right cavity 212 formed within the left portion 104 and the right portion 106 in a closed state. In the illustrated embodiment, each of the left cavity 210 and the right cavity 212 are of a size that each contain a single aspirin tablet and is slightly larger than the tablets, providing a minimal amount of movement. Alternatively, however, the cavities may be configured to hold more or less tablets, medication other than tablets such as pills, capsules, or medication other than aspirin, such as nitroglycerin, asthma medication, and the like. For example, the cavities may be configured to contain a total of one, three, or more tablets, the cavities may be configured to contain one or more tablets on a single side of the storage device 100, and the like.

[0032] As discussed above, the dimensions of the left cavity 210 and the right cavity 212 are such that a tablet will snugly fit within each of the cavities. Accordingly, in the embodiment in which the present invention is utilized to store aspirin having a size of approximately 10.4 mm diameter and a thickness of approximately 4.4 mm thick, each of the left cavity 210 and the right cavity 212 comprises an opening of 11.4 mm wide by 5.4 mm thick, ±0.5 mm. Furthermore, each of the left cavity 210 and the right cavity 212 is 11.4 mm in depth having a radius of 5.4 mm, ±0.5 mm. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the radius of the left cavity 210 and the right cavity 212 are preferably designed such that the radius of the cavities matches the radius of the tablet, providing a secure compartment and allowing a smaller overall size for the storage device 100.

[0033] FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of the storage device 100 of FIG. 1 in an open state. Preferably, the storage device 100 of FIG. 1 is opened by applying a snapping force between the left portion 104 and the right portion 106 along the hinge 108, such as the force generated by placing one's thumbs on each side of the heart and snapping the heart open. Accordingly, this design allows the device to be opened easily and quickly, particularly in high stress situations in which physical abilities may be deteriorating rapidly. Preferably, the torque required to open the storage device 100 is about 200 gram-centimeters. The opened storage device 100 is tilted with the exposed cavities facing downward to allow the contents thereof to dislodge. Optionally, a sticker, indentation, raised section, or the like may be used to indicate the front or rear of the storage device 100, thereby indicating to the user which direction the storage device 100 opens.

[0034] Furthermore, FIG. 3 illustrates the preferred mechanism to fasten and seal the left portion 104 and the right portion 106 to maintain the storage device 100 in a closed state. Specifically, the fastening area of the left portion 104 comprises a valley 310 and a female latch 312, and the right portion 106 comprises a peak 320 and a male latch 322.

[0035] The valley 310 and the peak 320 are positioned such that the valley 310 receives the peak 320 when the storage device 100 is in the closed state, thereby creating a substantially water-tight seal. Similarly, the female latch 312 of the left portion 104 is positioned to receive and retain the male latch 322 of the right portion 106 when the storage device 100 is in the closed state, thereby creating a water-tight seal and maintaining same when the storage device 100 is released. Preferably, the female latch 312 and the male latch 322 are centrally located along the outer perimeter, thereby providing a centralized force to maintain the storage device 100 in a closed state. The valley 310 and the peak 312 are discussed in greater detail below in reference to FIG. 4, which illustrates the valley and the peak in a closed state. The female latch 312 and the male latch 322 are discussed in greater detail below in reference to FIG. 5, which illustrates the female latch 312 and the male latch 322 in a closed state.

[0036] Furthermore, a gap 314 is preferably positioned between the valley 310 and the hinge 108. The gap 314 allows the material immediately adjacent to the hinge 108 to flex sufficiently as the hinge 108 is flexed. Preferably, the gap 314 measures approximately 0.5 mm. Similarly, a gap 324 is located between the peak 320 and the hinge 108 to allow the material immediately adjacent to the hinge 108 to flex sufficiently as the hinge 108 is flexed and to provide the necessary clearance to allow the storage device 100 to be closed. A transitional gap 326 is preferably located upon either side of the male latch 322 to allow a transition between the male latch 322 and the peak section 320.

[0037] Alternatively, a different latching mechanism may be used, such as a button-operated latch, a magnetic latch, or the like. Furthermore, varying types of seals may be used in place of the peak 320 and the valley 310, such as a rubber washer, an O-ring, or the like.

[0038] FIG. 4 illustrates a cross-section of a portion of the storage device in which the left portion 104 contacts the right portion 106, and in particular, FIG. 4 illustrates the valley of the left portion 104 and the peak of the right portion 106 in the closed state. Accordingly, peak 320 (FIG. 3) of the right portion 106 comprises a substantially flat base 420 from which a peak section 422 raises as may be used in the preferred embodiment. The left portion 104 comprises a substantially flat base 410 into which an indentation 412 is formed, the indentation being shaped to receive the peak section 422. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the indentation 412 of the left portion 104 and the peak sections 422 of the right portion 106 are aligned when the storage device is in the closed state, thereby forming a substantially watertight seal. Furthermore, the design of the indentation 412 and the peak sections 422 provides a self-aligning seal.

[0039] Although FIG. 4 illustrates a peak section 422 and an indentation 412 that forms a point, other configurations may be used. For example, rather than forming a point, the peak section 422 and the indentation 412 may form a shape with square corners, a rounded, semi-circle, or the like.

[0040] FIG. 5 illustrates a cross-section of a portion of the storage device 100 in which the left portion 104 contacts the right portion 106, and in particular, FIG. 5 illustrates the female latch 312 of the left portion 104 and the male latch 322 of the right portion 106 in the closed state. Accordingly, the female latch 312 generally comprises a raised latch 510 protruding at an angle from an inner edge 512 to an outer edge 514. The male latch 322 generally comprises a protruding hook 516 designed to easily latch onto the raised latch 510 of the female latch 312. Preferably, the protruding hook 516 includes a straight outer edge 518 that aligns with the outer edge 514 of the left portion 104. Furthermore, the protruding hook preferably comprises a point 520 to facilitate latching.

[0041] FIGS. 6a-6g (collectively referred to as FIG. 6) illustrate various views of another embodiment of the present invention. Specifically, FIG. 6a illustrates a perspective view, FIG. 6b illustrates a front view, FIG. 6c illustrates a rear view, FIG. 6d illustrates a top view, FIG. 6e illustrates a left view, FIG. 6f illustrates a right view, and FIG. 6g illustrates a bottom view of one embodiment of the present invention in which a storage device 600 comprises a heart-shaped storage container. The various views illustrate another embodiment of the present invention in which the storage device 600 is utilized to store aspirin tablets. The storage device 600, however, may be varied to incorporate any of the modifications disclosed herein or other modifications within the spirit of the invention. For example, the dimensions of the storage device 600 may be altered to store other forms of medication, such as pills, capsules, and the like, or to store other types of medication, such as nitroglycerin and the like.

[0042] One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the shape of the storage device 600 may take various forms other than the heart-shaped device illustrated herein. For example, the storage device 600 may take the form of a circle, a rectangle, an oval, a shape of an organ for which the enclosed medication would apply, such as a lung for an asthma medication, and the like. In the preferred embodiment, however, the storage device 600 is shaped such that it constantly reminds people of its purpose.

[0043] Accordingly, FIG. 6 illustrates a storage device 600 comprising a heart-shaped container having a left portion 604 and a right portion 606. The left portion 604 and the right portion 606 are coupled via a hinge 608 as illustrated in FIG. 6c. The storage device 600 optionally includes a mounting tab 614 with a hole 616 therethrough that extends over the center of gravity of the storage device 600 for attaching the storage device 600 to a chain, ring, necklace, bracelet, or other holder. Alternatively, a different mechanism may be used to affix the storage device 600 to an item, such as a hole in the storage device 600 through which a chain or string may be attached, hook and loop fastener, or the like. Additionally, the storage device 600 preferably has a concave point 620. As will be described below in greater detail, the concave point 620 allows portions of the storage device 600 to be cured properly, particularly when using a plastic material.

[0044] Preferably, the storage device 600 is made of a brightly-colored plastic, providing a material that can be economically produced in great numbers and easily locatable and identifiable. The hinge 608 comprises a thin strip of plastic connecting the left portion 604 to the right portion 606. Accordingly, the type of plastic used may be any type of plastic that provides the flexibility and fatigue resistance for the hinge to function without breaking for a predetermined number of operations, preferably approximately one-thousand operations. Preferably, a plastic material is a high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and the like, is an example of one material that is suitable for the present invention.

[0045] Alternatively, the storage device 600 may be made of another material, such as metal, rubber, and the like. In particular, the storage device 600 may be made of gold or silver to produce a charm suitable to wear on a necklace or bracelet. In embodiments of the present invention in which a material other than plastic is utilized, particularly with a metal such as gold or silver, a different latching mechanism and hinge may be more practical and is considered within the skills of one of ordinary skill in the art. For example, the hinge 608 may be embodied as one or more pin hinges and the like, and the latch may be embodied as a button-operated latch, a magnetic latch, or the like.

[0046] Alternatively, instructions (not shown) may be attached to the storage device 600. The instructions may be attached in the form of raised instructions on the storage device 600, a sticker placed on the storage device 600, a tag containing the instructions may be attached to the storage device 600, or the like. The instructions, or other marking, may also be used to indicate the front or rear of the storage device 600, thereby preventing the user from attempting to open the storage device from the rear, or hinge-side.

[0047] FIG. 7 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the storage device 600 illustrated in FIG. 6. In particular, FIG. 7 illustrates a front, cross-sectional view of the storage device 600 to illustrate a left cavity 710 and a right cavity 712 formed within the left portion 604 and the right portion 606 in a closed state. In the illustrated embodiment, each of the left cavity 710 and the right cavity 712 are of a size that each contain a single aspirin tablet and is slightly larger than the tablets, providing a minimal amount of movement. Alternatively, however, the cavities may be configured to hold more or less tablets, medication other than tablets such as pills, capsules, or medication other than aspirin, such as nitroglycerin, asthma medication, and the like. For example, the cavities may be configured to contain a total of one, three, or more tablets, the cavities may be configured to contain one or more tablets on a single side of the storage device 600, and the like.

[0048] As discussed above, the dimensions of the left cavity 710 and the right cavity 712 are such that a tablet will fit within each of the cavities. Accordingly, in the embodiment in which the present invention is utilized to store aspirin having a size of approximately 10.4 mm diameter and a thickness of approximately 4.4 mm thick, each of the left cavity 710 and the right cavity 712 comprises an opening of 11.4 mm wide by 5.4 mm thick, ±0.5 mm. Furthermore, each of the left cavity 710 and the right cavity 712 is 11.4 mm in depth having a radius of 5.4 mm, ±0.5 mm. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the radius of the left cavity 710 and the right cavity 712 are preferably designed such that the radius of the cavities matches the radius of the tablet, providing a secure compartment and allowing a smaller overall size for the storage device 600.

[0049] Furthermore, each of the left portion 604 and the right portion 606 preferably have a hollow cavity 720 between the concave section 620 and a divider 730. The divider serves as the bottom liner for the left cavity 710 and the right cavity 712. The hollow cavity 720 and the concave section 620 allow the plastic forming the divider 730 to cure and dry properly. If a different material or plastic is utilized that does not require the hollow cavity 720 and concave section 620, the sections may be removed or altered.

[0050] FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of the storage device 600 of FIG. 6 in an open state. Preferably, the storage device 600 of FIG. 6 is opened by applying a snapping force between the left portion 604 and the right portion 606 along the hinge 608, such as the force generated by placing one's thumbs on each side of the heart and snapping the heart open. Accordingly, this design allows the device to be opened easily and quickly, particularly in high stress situations in which physical abilities may be deteriorating rapidly. Preferably, the torque required to open the storage device 600 is about 200 gram-centimeters. The opened storage device 600 is tilted with the exposed cavities facing downward to allow the contents thereof to dislodge.

[0051] Furthermore, FIG. 8 illustrates the preferred mechanism to fasten and seal the left portion 604 and the right portion 606 to maintain the storage device 600 in a closed state. Specifically, the mating area of the right portion 606 comprises a substantially flat mating area 810 with a protruding hook 812, and the mating area of the left portion 604 comprises a substantially flat mating area 820 with a recessed latch 822. The recessed latch 822 receives and retains the protruding hook 812 of the right portion 606. The protruding hook 812 is released by exerting a snapping force between the left portion 604 and the right portion 606 along the hinge 608. Alternatively, a different latching mechanism may be used, such as a button-operated latch, a magnetic latch, or the like. Preferably, the seal formed between the mating area of the left portion 604 and the right portion 606 forms a water-resistant seal or, most preferably, a water-tight seal.

[0052] Although the present invention and its advantages have been described in detail, it should be understood that various changes, substitutions and alterations can be made herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. Moreover, the scope of the present application is not intended to be limited to the particular embodiments of the process, machine, means, methods and steps described in the specification. As one of ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate from the disclosure of the present invention, processes, machines, means, methods, or steps, presently existing or later to be developed, that perform substantially the same function or achieve substantially the same result as the corresponding embodiments described herein may be utilized according to the present invention. Accordingly, the appended claims are intended to include within their scope such processes, machines, means, methods, or steps.

[0053] Moreover, the scope of the present application is not intended to be limited to the particular embodiments of the process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, means, methods and steps described in the specification. As one of ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate from the disclosure of the present invention, processes, machines, manufacture, compositions of matter, means, methods, or steps, presently existing or later to be developed, that perform substantially the same function or achieve substantially the same result as the corresponding embodiments described herein may be utilized according to the present invention. Accordingly, the appended claims are intended to include within their scope such processes, machines, manufacture, compositions of matter, means, methods, or steps.