Innovating the PuffBarry

Allison Powell said she didn’t want to leave the solution in the classroom. Instead, she believed in herself and her classmates, and created a communication device for those with debilitating ailments such as ALS. “Meaningful change can happen when we discover what we are truly passionate about. Passion is what energizes, ignites, and inspires us.”

Allison Powell is pursuing a Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. She is passionate about innovation, medical device design, and global health. As an undergraduate, she developed an interest in global health as a Medical Technician repairing hospital equipment in Tanzania through Engineering World Health. This summer she will be working in Ethiopia on a maternal health-related biomedical design project through the U of M’s Humanitarian Technology Institute (HTI) and Global Health Design Program.
After a good family friend, Dr. Michael Barry, passed away from ALS last summer, she was inspired to try to make the lives of those with such debilitating diseases easier through medical design. She is the co-inventor and founder of PuffBarry, an alternative communication device for ALS and other muscular degenerative diseases. She plans to attend medical school, with goals of helping patients individually and globally through this interdisciplinary education.