Posting in Design
The robots can fill drugs better and faster than humans. Robots help with personalized care at one California hospital, streamlining drugs from prescription to patients.
A robo pharmacist that fills prescriptions without making any mistakes sounds too good to be true. But researchers at the University of California at San Francisco are doing just that: they are using robots to fill and track medications to improve patient safety.
The Robotic IV Automation (RIVA) system can prepare hazardous chemotherapy drugs. The robot, made by Canada's Intelligent Hospital Systems, was designed to fill prescriptions perfectly.
The robotic system isn't meant to replace pharmacists all together. Mary Anne Koda-Kimble, dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy, said in a statement:
“Automated medication dispensing frees pharmacists from the mechanical aspects of the practice. This technology, with others, will allow pharmacists to use their pharmaceutical care expertise to assure that patients are treated with medicines tailored to their individual needs.”
This robo pharmacist isn't the only one in the game though. There are robots that deal drugs too, including ForHealth Technologies' IntelliFill and Swisslog's PillPick.
Robots can fill drugs faster and better than humans. It will be interesting to see how the robots assist the San Francisco-based hospital fill prescriptions from beginning to end. Will streamlining the drugs from prescription to patients help improve personalized care? In theory, the robots can help figure out the best drug for the patient and then fill the recommended prescription. I guess we will see how the robo pharmacist performs at UCSF.
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Mar 15, 2011
Thanks for sharing such an informative posts so keep it up man!!
The hidden lining here, is that the robot cannot have any "ethical" objections to filling the prescriptions it is presented with. The hidden flaw in that, is that the pharmacist in charge of it CAN have such objections -- and could program "his" robot to ignore any such prescriptions, putting that pharmacy permanently and completely out of the business of filling those patient needs.
Great news provided they think it through. As well as contributing to human error, the human pharmacist does act as a check on other earlier human errors, both in prescription and in the supply line. Hopefully the human pharmacist will still pick up and query the unusual prescription. Will (s)he also pick up the mistaken selection of the wrong product/package/dose? If that sort of mistake is not picked up, we could have industrial scale mis-dispensing as the robot blindly dispenses the wrong size/color pills!