Get medicines from ‘robot’ pharmacist in less than a minute

DHA will adopt robot at all its hospitals

DUBAI 3 August 2017: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) inaugurated on Wednesday a smart pharmacy which has a robot for dispensing and prescribing medication in Dubai Hospital.

This is the first-of-its-kind smart pharmacy in the Middle East and a second of its kind in the DHA, as the authority launched a smart pharmacy at Rashid Hospital last January.

The robot can store up to 35,000 medicines and dispenses around 12 prescriptions in less than one minute.

The robot dispenses the prescribed medication with a click of a bottom based on a barcode, minimising human error.

Humaid Al Qatami, Chairman and Director General of DHA announced that the authority will be adopt the robot in all DHA hospitals.

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Al Qatami added that the robot is one of the latest smart technologies adopted by the authority to meet the 2016/2021 strategy, which aims to achieve a happy and healthy society.

The smart pharmacy was inaugurated in the presence of Dr Ali Al Sayed, the Director of the Pharmaceutical Services Department of DHA, Dr Abdul Rahman Al Jasmi CEO of Dubai Hospital and Dr Khaldoon Walid Nabhan, Acting Director Finance and Administrative affairs at Dubai Hospital.

Dr Al Sayed said the robot can dispense up to 12 prescriptions in less than one minute, reducing customer’s waiting time. He added that the robot dispensing process will be paper free as the robot will store the prescription as soon as the doctor documents it electronically.

He added that depending on the robot to dispense the medication, would allow the pharmacist to focus on giving the customers the correct instruction on how to take the medication.

Al Qutami said the DHA is adopting a fully integrated smart system for its pharmaceutical services that include a barcode system in all its pharmaceutical transactions in DHA hospitals and health centers.

The DHA is the first to implement the barcode smart system in the UAE last April, which aims to ensure the safety of patients by giving each medicine a barcode, hence reducing the chances of any mistakes when dispensing medication.

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The authority is implementing the new system in coordination with the biggest international companies that supply medication and by using the latest technology that the authority adopts in managing the health sector especially in the pharmaceutical department.

Al Qutami also said that the authority has adopted a smart system that monitors the cold chain of pharmaceuticals to preserve the quality and safety of medication.

Monitoring of cold chain especially when it comes to medication is considered one of the most important global issues and one of the biggest challenges that international health organizations face as it directly affects the quality, safety and the effectiveness of the medication.

The international-standard smart system that monitors and tracks the temperatures of medication through the installation of smart devices and tablets that can be controlled and tracked electronically. These systems aim to guarantee a continuous cold chain, which will maintain the quality and safety of pharmaceutical medication.

By Angel Chan