Robotik Technology are the experts in pharmacy automation and pharmacy robotics. We have worked hard to build our knowledge and hone our craft over the past five years and have specialised in bringing the latest innovations from around the world to the UK. The future of pharmacy automation and pharmacy robotics is bright and full of potential. We think you’ll want to be a part of it.
Pharmacy automation vs pharmacy robotics
Many think about the machines themselves when pharmacy robotics comes to mind and indeed they are the element of pharmacy automation that visually dominate. You can’t miss them. New technology excites and fascinates human kind because of it’s potential. It is that potential that we are interested in liberating but it requires first an understanding of the kind of problem that you are solving. The way in which the machine will make life easier. While we regularly supply pharmacy robots that facilitate pack dispensing, compliance aid dispensing and hub and spoke dispensing we often source robots to meet other needs like accuracy checking.
Pharmacy automation is a much wider term which refers to the variety of hardware and software solutions that are combined to meet the specific and unique needs of a particular pharmacy. There is a skill involved in the combining that determines how successful automation is. Here are some of the less often considered areas where automation is helping:
• Inventory management
• Pill sorter, counter, and packing machines—large and small scale
• Barcode medicine identification
• Dispensing cabinets and devices
• Remote-dispensing system
• Electronic prescribing
• Drug Interaction and allergy checks
• Tracking medical history
• Tracking and updating patient database
In this country we have been automating pharmacies for over 30 years without drawing attention to it. Now we should embrace and expedite automation much like our US and Continental peers to gain the efficiencies and safety every business should strive for.
Read about the key benefits of pharmacy automation here.
The state of automation
In the UK we have been automating pharmacies for over 30 years in a variety of ways and while pharmacists and patients alike have benefitted it is our international colleagues in the Europe, the US and wider afield that have really embraced the productivity and safety benefits that pharmacy automation brings. Our hospitals are further along on their journey to automation however community pharmacies are now catching up an we believe we are approaching a tipping point.
Automation in business is commonly defined as using technology to reduce manual labour and increase productivity and while clinical service provision and retail are starting to see some automation it is the dispensing of prescriptions where pharmacy robotics are becoming a necessity.
The automation of prescription dispensing has developed to the point where we are able to develop and implement bespoke solutions that adapt to the pharmacies needs and processes while working at a range of scales.
Automation of clinical services is now seeing online booking systems proliferate while AI and voice recognition user interfaces will accelerate the development online consultation systems.
Touch screens and automated pack dispensers are combining with tried and tested payment gateways to create seamless, omni-channel retail experiences. As retail changes around the pharmacy profession so pharmacy is seeking to keep up.
Clinical Services can be booked on-line from a catalogue. Advice can be given by voice recognition software or by a real doctor via a mobile phone.
Retail can be automated by Pack Dispensers in the shop or in the back office. These can also be coupled with self-service touch screens.
With funding challenges driving the quest for efficiency alongside the pressure to find new ways of gaining a competitive edge it and securing market share you will find a pharmacy robot somewhere in the vast majority of UK towns. Led by the larger organisations centralised dispensing or hub and spoke dispensing is beginning to become a real option for many as pressure to change legislation grows.
So what does the future hold for pharmacy automation and pharmacy robotics and most importantly how can you prepare to make the most of it?
Predictions are just that, predictions. There is an unavoidable element of doubt but from our vantage point as the UK pharmacy automation experts we foresee a number of trends over the coming five years.
An aging population and labour restrictions caused by Brexit will push operators in all sectors towards automation. Today’s workforce is already under pressure and that trend is likely to accelerate driving demand for new solutions to the labour gap.
Quicker, cheaper, more accurate systems, processes and equipment will be developed. If a compliance aid dispensing machine today can produce 40-45 units per hour then we should expect technological enhancements to yield 60-70 trays per hour in five years time.
Hub and spoke
In the search for ever increasing efficiencies legislation that allows third party dispensing may be passed opening the door for ‘dispensing groups’ made up of ten’s of independent community pharmacies.
The delivery of pharmacy services will continue to move online and the integration of automated systems and machines will be important to the efficient delivery of these new models of care.
New providers will emerge building on the success of today’s pioneers. The global giants may seek to find ways to leverage their infrastructure to fulfil patient needs and secure significant market share unless commissioners can be convinced of the value of face-to-face patient interaction.
While Europe and the US have dominated to date the BRICS countries are set to have an impact developing new machines, software and systems.
We see a compelling case for the automation of pharmacy services in the UK, one that will become increasingly difficult to ignore even if you don’t embrace it. We continue to travel the world learning about the latest developments and bringing them back to the UK to benefit our clients and their patients. We believe that automation has an important part to play in the future of pharmacy.
Read our manifesto here.
Speak to the experts
We’ve shared why we think pharmacy automation is an investment in the future here. Take a look and feel free to browse our other articles that explore the world of pharmacy automation and pharmacy robotics.