A device, an automat, a dispenser. Or an actual robot? Yes – a robot it is – and why not?
The home care processes have long remained unchanged. Typically, technology used has been those appliances normally found in a normal home. During the last couple of years, there have been new innovations typically aiming at providing efficiencies, e.g. electric locks and various information management systems. At the same time, innovations related to care processes have been rare.
Our medicine dispensing service has remained the only real solution providing automation into the care processes at home.
Change frightens. So does automation. And robots. Everything new and unfamiliar are difficult while the old and familiar feels safe and secure. However, in medicine dispensing, automation and robots add safety and security as the robots eliminate the possibility of human errors and hoist the medical adherence into an altogether new level. Patient safety is increased and the medications can finally have an effect.
Facing the resistance of change, using the r-word has felt challenging. Robots are often seen as a cyborg-like creatures combining features from organisms and technologies. and that clearly is not what our medicine dispensing service is about. Our medicine dispensing robot is round and approachable, and most clearly a machine.
The robot march to care sector has clearly begun and we are at the forefront. In the newly published report Robotit töihin – Putting Robots to Work by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA, Cristina Andersson and Mari Kangasniemi note that already a fifth of the workload of the nursing staff could be performed by robots. The time saved could then be used to tasks requiring human contact and interaction.
Our medicine dispensing robot is a robot thanks to the intelligence and technologies it contains. There are cameras, servos, transfers, micro circuits. To name only a few. The intelligence is provided by our highly developed Telecare system that connect the robot and the home care organization, and when so desired, also the patient’s family members into a functioning entity. An entity that dispenses the medication safely and securely.
Our robot is highly appreciated by its users and the professionals acquainted with. The typical first reaction is a surprise: there is a robot dispensing medication for the elderly in home care, developed in Finland. Care robots are about the most difficult to develop and Finland has not been at the forefront in developing robotization lately. However, there are soon around 1,000 satisfied robot-users in Nordic countries and there are new features and products related to it in our R&D road map.
The future belongs to robotics. In the western world, the age pyramid itself indicates the need for bringing all the technology available to aid the already stressed nursing staff. We need automation, digitalization, robots, machine learning and artificial intelligence, the works. Otherwise we are not able to cope with the tasks ahead.
Our medicine dispensing robot is ready for service. We are happy to note that in many municipalities the offer has been accepted or the step ahead is about to be taken.