Ordinary pharmacies can fill hundreds of prescriptions every day. This demand can put a lot of pressure on pharmacists and their staff to maintain adequate staff levels throughout the day while still serving customers without allowing long lines. In addition, the right drug must be given in the right dose with the right number of doses, while the documentation must be accurate and complete. Amid all these activities, pharmacists must be able to offer consultations to patients and screen for potential drug interactions.
With such full plates, automation in medical application solutions could boost pharmacy accuracy and customer service. The automatic pill dispensing robots have been designed and developed to provide such assistance.
Automation In Pharmacy
The automated pill dispensing helps ease the workload at the pharmacy and better allows its staff to focus on other tasks. Current technology offers 99.7% counting and labelling accuracy, allowing the team to leave the robot running with minimal supervision. A series of high-efficiency, high-torque DC micro motors and DC gear motors enable the entire operation to run quickly in the limited pharmacy space.
Technology Supporting Medical Application Solutions
The drug dispensing technology can store up to 200 of the most frequently prescribed drugs and successfully fulfil all orders from pills to unit use drugs such as lotions and ointments. To meet the needs of the pharmaceutical industry, technology must meet several criteria.
The overall goal was to create a machine that could be “plug and play”, requiring no modification or complicated setup by pharmacists other than storing medicine. All units must conform to the standard dimensions of the pharmacy and its shelving unit mounted on a standard wall plug. The actual counting unit must be capable of accurately tracking doses, and a barcode scanning system is used to ensure accuracy in labelling. Cross-contamination of different drugs should be avoided by using separate cells and channels for each medicine.
The Solution – DC Micro Motor
The whole system works using only four DC powered micromotors. Instead of having 200 separate motion systems, the only moving parts are the mini gantry crane, gripping device and actual eject action. This allows the system to meet its simplicity and low power usage goals. Each motor must be extremely compact while still providing enough power to move a large number of large pills; The standard 1-inch DC micro motor fits the bill while still being able to power a wall outlet.
The modular design of the DC gear motor also allows several accessories to be added to basic functions for special needs. High-volume pharmacies can take advantage of batch loading, which first fills the holding tank with a quantity of medication ready to be disposed of on-demand. The same motor technology allows these medical application solutions to match the same design mentality.
Overall, today’s advances in medical technology help healthcare providers offer the highest level of care.
Chris Harmen is a writer for MicroMo Medical Solutions, a leading medical industry partner providing DC micro motors and DC gear motors for medical application solutions.