The device will release the required medication to customers at prescribed times and safely stores it inside so customers can’t take more than the prescribed amount.
The City of Helsinki is introducing medication dispensing robots for recipients of its home care services.
The aim is to enable people to live more independently at home. Because a robot dispenses medications, individuals do not need to wait for a nurse’s visit to get their medication.
A medication dispensing robot is a device that releases the required medications to customers at the prescribed times. If a person fails to take their medication, the robot recovers it. When all medications are stored safely inside the device, customers can’t take more than the amount prescribed to them.
“We’ve been testing medication dispensing robots together with Service Centre for about a year now and our experiences have been highly positive,” said home care manager Sanna Numminen.
“The device is easy to use, and customers have been happy with it. They have experienced increasing personal freedom. Home care nurses have also been satisfied.”
“Among its many functions, the medication dispensing robot makes an alert if a customer fails to take a medication dispensed by the robot for one reason or another”
The robot uses voice to guide customers and to remind them to take their medications, which makes them suitable for those customers suffering from poor or lack of memory conditions. Customers are provided with support and instructions when robots are introduced to their care.
“Among its many functions, the medication dispensing robot makes an alert if a customer fails to take a medication dispensed by the robot for one reason or another. The Service Centre staff reacts to alarms 24 hours [a day],” said systems designer, Tuomas Rantala.
The robots also allow home care professionals to focus their visits on those who need the most personal care. This is of particular importance at such times as the coronavirus pandemic and services are stretched. The robots also help home care to reduce the number of care nurses making home visits.
“The introduction of medication dispensing robots is one method to protect our customers during the coronavirus pandemic. Home care customers are often members of risk groups for the coronavirus disease, and it’s especially important to limit physical contacts with these customers,” said Numminen.
Numminen added that all of those to be equipped with a medication dispensing robot will continue to be home care customers. “Home care will ensure that the customers’ medications are ordered and the robots are refilled.”
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