Saturday morning coffee [December 20 2014]

“Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values.” ~Thomas S. Monson

So much happens each and every week, and it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….

MUG_Christmas
Continue reading Saturday morning coffee [December 20 2014]

Cool Pharmacy Technology – Eyecon Visual Counting System

It’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 “machine vision” 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 “machine vision” to perform counting. I’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 “detect pill fragments or foreign matter in the counting platter and alert the operator”. That’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 “Eyecon”.
Continue reading Cool Pharmacy Technology – Eyecon Visual Counting System

Saturday morning coffee [August 23 2014]

“Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” -John Wooden”

So much happens each and every week that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….

MUG_SMC
Continue reading Saturday morning coffee [August 23 2014]

Cool Technology for Healthcare – GPS SmartSole

Yep, you read the right, GPS-enabled insoles for your shoes. Very interesting concept when you stop to consider the potential benefits of such technology in healthcare, i.e. think Alzheimer’s for one, although the use cases are expansive.

Up until a couple of weeks ago I had never heard of the GPS SmartSole, but apparently they’ve been around for a while. According to the company website – GTX Corp – the product has been around since 2008. Who knew?

The technology gives users the ability to track individual’s location via any smartphone, tablet, or other web-enabled device. Caregivers can even configure the system to send text and email alerts when the user leaves a designated area. Of course it only works if the user is wearing their shoes.

Continue reading Cool Technology for Healthcare – GPS SmartSole

Cool Pharmacy Technology – TelePharm

Telepresence has seen its ups and downs over the years. The technology is certainly nothing new, but it has been underutilized in both the inpatient and outpatient healthcare space. This is especially true when it comes to pharmacy, which is odd because one would think that telepresence technology could be used to give pharmacists the freedom they crave.

TelePharm is a telepresence system aimed at the ambulatory pharmacy space. It’s difficult to elicit much detail from the website, but ultimately the system appears to use cameras and a web-based application to remotely monitor technicians, and provide patient consultations via video conference.

“Pharmacists are provided captured images of all work products (hardcopy prescriptions, labeled containers, medications (tablets/capsules), stock bottle containers, and stock bottle. They compare all this information to the system information and stock images provided to verify the prescription has been filled properly.”

It appears that patient consultations can take place on any web-enabled device. “A pharmacist needs an audio/video enabled device with internet to access the TelePharm application. Patients need to have an internet and audio/video connection through a tablet, mobile phone, or home PC.”

The TelePharm service reminds me of what Envision Telepharmacy does with acute care pharmacies and infusion centers.

Anyone out there used TelePharm or seen it in person? If so feel free to leave a comment below.

SCiO – a molecular scanner for your pocket

medGadget: “A new device launching on Kickstarter today aims to simplify the process by utilizing spectrometry to analyze and provide real-time information on any food that you aim it at. Dubbed SCiO, this molecular scanner from Tel Aviv-based company Consumer Physics takes spectrometry technology found commonly in laboratories and industrial environments and places it in a consumer device not much larger than a common USB drive….. SCiO can also scan medication. During a live demonstration we attended last week, Consumer Physics’ co-founder Dror Sharon scanned two brands of ibuprofen, and SCiO was able to identify which pill was a generic brand.”
Continue reading SCiO – a molecular scanner for your pocket

Drug monitoring in IV tubing using Raman spectroscopy

chemistryworld: “Recent research, led by Brian Cunningham at the University of Illinois in the US, has produced biomedical tubing that uses surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to monitor the contents and concentrations of drugs within a patient’s IV line.  The plasmonic nanodome array surface enhances the Raman signals.  The tubing could detect 10 pharmaceutical compounds with reproducible signals for a period of up to five days. For four of the drugs, the signal magnitude was dependent upon the drug concentration and combinations of compounds could also be detected, giving a much more detailed picture of a patient’s medication.” – This is great work being done by the University of Illinois. I’ve contemplated something like this in the past.

SERS_IVdrugID
Continue reading Drug monitoring in IV tubing using Raman spectroscopy

Saturday morning coffee [December 21 2013]

“Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine.” - Fran Lebowitz

So much happens each and every week that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….

MUG_SMC

Continue reading Saturday morning coffee [December 21 2013]

Real-time medication tracking: Pharmtrac.PD by PlusDelta Technologies

I’ve been revisiting some of the pharmacy technology that I’ve covered over the past few years. Partly to see what advances have been made, if any, and partly to see if some of the smaller guys I’ve come across are still in business.

PlusDelta Technologies is an interesting little company that I discovered at the ASHP Summer Meeting in Denver in 2011. I was impressed with their vision, and with their use of mobile technology to track medications throughout the distribution process. At the time the company had a small suite of products, but as I sit here looking at their website it appears that they’ve whittled it down to just one: Pharmtrac.PD. Focus people, that’s called focus.
Continue reading Real-time medication tracking: Pharmtrac.PD by PlusDelta Technologies