An automated machine designed to dispense medicines electronically has been installed at the King Salman Armed Forces Hospital in Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: SPA

Dubai: King Salman Armed Forces Hospital has unveiled an automated machine designed to dispense medicines electronically.

The machine installed in the northwest region of Saudi Arabia, eliminates the need for beneficiaries to visit hospitals to collect their prescription medicines.

The cutting-edge device incorporates a workstation capable of reading prescription barcodes, an interactive screen for users, a robotic operating system and a messaging platform that informs the beneficiary when their prescription is ready for collection.

Functioning round the clock, the machine boasts a commendable storage capacity, ranging from 102 to 700 prescriptions. It is equipped to handle prescriptions of various sizes and offers robust protection against potential damages, tampering, or theft. Additionally, the device provides a comprehensive statistical breakdown of medicines dispensed daily, monthly, or annually.

All prescribed medications, excluding those requiring ultra-low temperatures, can be dispensed through the machine. Its availability round-the-clock has dramatically decreased the waiting time for patients, reducing what used to be a 4-hour wait at the pharmacy to less than a minute at this automated service.

Major Alyan Al Atwi, Director of the Pharmacy Department at King Salman Hospital, said that beneficiaries can request the service by scanning the prescription’s barcode, filling in essential details, and then selecting the nearest ATM.

A pharmacist then verifies the prescription details through an electronic system. Upon approval and in the absence of any discrepancies, the beneficiary receives a text message containing a unique code and the machine’s location, allowing them to retrieve their medication within 48 hours.

The revolutionary system requires the beneficiary to input their civil record and the verification code sent to their mobile before dispensing the prescribed medication.