Itâ€™s hard to imagine that pharmacies still manually count medications and pour them into bottle for distribution to patients, but it goes on all the time. Even large pharmacies that have robotic dispensing systems still have to manually dispense a fair number of medications for one reason or another.
Eyecon by RxMedic is an automated counting system for oral medications that uses barcode scanning technology and â€œmachine visionâ€ to ensure accurate medication dispensing.
Some things that I thought were interesting about Eyecon:
- It uses barcode scanning technology to ensure that the correct medication is being used, i.e. Eyecon scans the medication barcode against the prescription label. When used properly this a good way to prevent putting the wrong drug in the patient’s bottle.
- Use of â€œmachine visionâ€ to perform counting. Iâ€™m not entirely sure what “machine vision” technology is, but I hear the term often enough; especially when looking at compounding robots. According to the company, Eyecon can â€œdetect pill fragments or foreign matter in the counting platter and alert the operatorâ€. Thatâ€™s a nice feature.
- There are separate trays for “sulfa” and “penicillin”. You frequently see tray segregation like this in outpatient pharmacies due to fear of cross contamination and patient allergies. This little feature tells me that the person that designed Eyecon has practical experience in a pharmacy.
Couple of Eyecon videos below. The first shows a general overview of Eyecon from 2010. The second shows Eyecon being used to fill a prescription using barcode scanning technology. There are several videos posted on YouTube. Just search for â€œEyeconâ€.