The process of counting each individual pill for a given prescription is time consuming for most pharmacists, Gizmodo recently reported. However, new technology developed by the University of California, San Francisco may create a more efficient and reliable system.
Pharmacies may soon employ robotics and other mechanical devices to dispense controlled substances, according to the news source. The system will likely include a mix of robotics, computers and label printing machines to assure that the correct medicine is assigned to the appropriate receptacle.
Critics of the program may claim there is the room for mechanical error during this automated process. However, the robotics dispensing system is highly accurate, claimed the media outlet, and errors only occur at a rate of one in every 400,000. Usually, the attending pharmacy technician will spot any discrepancies before the customer walks off with the drugs.
The medical industry has a history of embracing robotics systems. According to the Seattle-based healthcare consortium Swedish, the center performs a large number of robot-assisted surgical procedures, which doctors maintain improve their operations.