A new medication box with a scannable marker embedded in each pill chamber to collect data and track adherence was one of the innovative new patents secured by USF faculty.

For the 11th consecutive year, the University of South Florida (USF) is one of the top 15 American public research universities for producing new U.S. utility patents, according to a new ranking released today by the National Academy of Inventors.

Based on the 88 new patents secured in 2023, USF is 14th among U.S. public research universities, 24th among all American public or private universities and 34th among universities worldwide.

“The University of South Florida’s consistent recognition as one of the nation’s top producers of new U.S. utility patents is a reflection of the innovative spirit and culture that transcends across our institution,” USF President Rhea Law said. “We are proud to support our researchers who continue to turn their bold ideas into inventions, new technologies and creative solutions that make a lasting impact on our communities and throughout our society.”

The ranking places USF in rare company among the academic institutions generating new, novel and useful inventions, including innovation powerhouses such as the University of California System, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and Stanford University. Combined, the three universities that comprise The Florida High Tech Corridor — USF, the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida — secured 287 patents. This puts The Corridor ahead of nationally recognized centers of innovation, including North Carolina’s Research Triangle and the University of Texas System.

Below are some of USF’s 2023 patent highlights:

  • Qing Lu, associate professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, has developed a new asphalt and patented a novel paving system to harvest energy from heavily trafficked roadways.
  • College of Behavioral and Community Sciences faculty members William Diehl Kearns, Kimberly Crosland and James L. Fozard, along with Jeffrey Craighead, lead scientist at SoarTech, patented a new medication box that improves patients’ medication adherence. A scannable marker, such as a QR code, is embedded in the bottom of each pill chamber in the transparent box. Each marker is embedded with important data relevant to the medication plan. When the user ingests the medication, the marker is scanned and the data is stored electronically, creating a long-term record of the patient’s medication regime. The system also can be programmed to provide rewards to the user for following their medication plan, thus reinforcing consistent medication adherence.

The University of South Florida is located at 4202 E. Fowler Ave. in Tampa. For more information, visit www.usf.edu.

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