RIYADH: The King Salman Armed Forces Hospital in Tabuk has successfully trialed the first device to dispense medicines electronically without the need to visit the hospital, Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.
The device consists of a workstation that reads the barcode of a prescription, a screen that the patient deals with, an operating system for the robot, and a message platform that notifies the patient when the medicine is ready.
The device serves patients around the clock, has a storage capacity of 102-700 prescriptions, and can handle prescriptions of various sizes. The medicines are protected from damage, vandalism, and theft, and the device provides statistics for medicines dispensed to a patient on a daily, monthly, or annual basis.
The director of the pharmacy department at the hospital Major Olayan Al-Atwi said the device scans the barcode on the prescription, fills in the required data, and chooses the dispensing device closest to the patient’s residence before a pharmacist checks all the details on the prescription system.
In the event that the prescription is accepted and there are no notes, a text message will be sent to the patient with a special code and the geographical location of the device, in addition to the status of the request.
This allows the patient to go to the device and dispense the medical prescription within 48 hours by entering their personal details and the verification code sent to their phone.
Al-Atwi confirmed that the device dispenses all medicines that are prescribed to any patient except for medicines that need to be stored at very low temperatures. Medicines can be dispensed around the clock, thereby reducing waiting times.