Hugo Glover was close to failing the first year of his design products masters course at the Royal College of Art. But a chat with a frail aunt who had a muscular disease led to a new idea for his project - which turned his academic fate around and could earn him a comfortable income.
His brainstorm was the Pill Popper, a device that helps users catch a pill when it is pressed out of a blister packet. Mr Glover's tutors arranged for him to develop it three days a week with the innovation team on the Selected Works scheme.
Through a link with Ventures for Health, the innovation team for the National Health Service, the Pill Popper has been licensed for manufacture and will retail at about £1. In its first year, it is projected to sell in the hundreds of thousands. Sales could rocket when it is marketed abroad. The RCA, Mr Glover and Ventures for Health will share the royalties.