09 May 2006

Precise prescriptions

Radio 4's Casenotes describes a robotic drug dispensing system designed to reduce human error in hospital pharmacies. The system reads barcodes on packaging and picks and delivers the drugs to the pharmacist's work station. However the robot is limited by packaging size: it can't pick small packages. Sounds like a design opportunity.

One nugget that I picked up in the programme was that it wasn't until 1972 that drug packaging was required to display the name of its contents (and indeed I can remember medicine bottles saying just 'The mixture').

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