How Automation Affects Medical Application Solutions For Drug Delivery

The typical pharmacy can fill many hundreds of prescriptions every day. This demand can put a lot of pressure on pharmacists and their staff in order to keep adequate staffing levels throughout the day while still serving customers without letting long lines form. In addition, the right drugs have to be given at the right dosage with the correct amount of doses while documentation has to be accurate and complete. In the midst of all of that activity, pharmacists have to be able to offer consultation to patients as well as screen for potential drug interactions.

With such a full plate, automation in medical application solutions can provide a big boost for a pharmacy’s accuracy and customer service. Automated pill dispensing robots have been designed and developed to provide such aid.

Automation In The Pharmacy

Automated pill dispensing helps to alleviate the workload in a pharmacy and better allows its staff to focus on other tasks. The current technology offers a 99.7% counting and labeling accuracy, allowing the staff to let the robot run with minimal supervision. A series of high efficiency, Imedical Healthcare Solutions high torque DC micro-motors and DC gearmotors allows the entire operation to run quickly in the limited space of a pharmacy.

The Technology That Supports Medical Application Solutions

The medication dispensing technology can store up to 200 of the most commonly prescribed medicines and successfully fulfill any order type from pills to unit-of-use medication such as lotions and ointments. To meet the needs of the pharmaceutical industry, the technology had to satisfy a number of criteria.

The overall goal was to create a machine that could be “plug and play,” requiring no modifications or complicated set up by a pharmacist beyond stocking the medication. The entire unit had to fit within the standard dimensions of a pharmacy and its shelving units that ran on a standard wall plug. The actual counting unit had to be able to accurately track dosages and a barcode scanner system was used to ensure accuracy in labeling. Cross contamination of different medicines was to be avoided by the use of separate cells and chutes for each medication.

The Solution – DC Micro-Motors

The entire system works off the use of just four powered DC micro-motors. Instead of having 200 separate motion systems, the only moving parts are a miniature gantry crane, a gripping device, and the actual dispensing action. This allowed the system to meet its goals of simplicity and low power usage. Each motor had to be very compact while still providing adequate power to move large numbers of bulky pills; DC micro-motors at a standard size of 1 inch fit the bill while still being capable of running off of a wall electrical outlet.

The modular design of DC gearmotors also allows a number of accessories to be added to the basic functioning for special needs. High volume pharmacies can utilize batch loading, which pre-fills holding tanks with a set amount of medication ready to be dumped on demand. The same motor technology enables this medical application solution to fit the same design mentality.


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