© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Kiwi ingenuity at its best: Blister Twister

James Fleury
Pete Chapman and his invention Blister Twister
Pete Chapman and his invention - Blister Twister  Arthritis New Zealand

The Blister Twister is a device that people with arthritic or sore hands can use to open Medico Paks.

The Medico Pak is a see-through blister pack for people who take medication frequently for their respective health needs.

Arthritis New Zealand and Douglas Pharmaceuticals teamed up with 75-year-old Nelson-based inventor, Pete Chapman, to create an easy, pain-free device for individuals with arthritic issues or pain in their hands.

Arthritis NZ Philanthropy Manager, Dianne Armstrong, said opening doors, turning taps, putting socks on, and doing up buttons were just some of the common struggles many people with arthritis had to deal with daily.

Chapman told Metronews he invented a number of different devices which had benefited people with arthritis in the past, including the original milk bottle opener Milk Mate and his recent invention of the Nitrolingual spray pump.


How to use the Medico Blister Twister 2020

After spending an hour in his local Mitre 10, Chapman found what turned out to be the handle of the Blister Twister.

“The best scenario I found ended up being the little scrubbing brush people generally use in their sink because of the good grip.”

Chapman then contacted a friend in the plastics industry who got in touch with a manufacturer in China able to make them without the brush bristle bottoms.

“He imported 2000 of the handles and then I got Nelson Topliss Engineering to make the plastic bottoms for the device.''

Chapman said while designing the Blister Twister, he made nearly a dozen different models of what he thought was the best device.

“It was quite a long process and the dye was expensive, but it’s all been worth it in the end because I’ve now got something people can use easily with arthritic hands.”

Chapman’s friend Mike helped him with the project.

“We do the agreements on a handshake and share fifty percent of the profit each time we complete a project together.”

Chapman said Arthritis NZ took the prototypes to different locations, including rest homes, to find out which one worked best.

The Blister Twister is retailed at $9 and can be purchased at all pharmacies which sell the Medico Pak.