CHENGDU, Oct 23 (Bernama) -- A robot not only assists with surgery nowadays, but also helps with the process of dispensing medicine for chemotherapy.
A robot nurse employed to prescribe medicine for chemotherapy has started its career at the Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, sources at the hospital said Tuesday.
According to Xinhua news agency, it is the first robot used for automatically dispensing medicine from prescriptions for chemotherapy in central and western China.
Previously, such robot types have been employed only in hospitals in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Most chemotherapy drugs are poisonous and can take a toll on one's health, according to Chen Tao, head nurse at the oncology department of the hospital.
Nurses in charge of writing prescriptions for chemotherapy used to wear protective suits to do the work and it usually took several hours, said Chen.
"Now, the robot nurse can complete the whole process automatically. We do not have to worry about our health and have more time to take care of patients."
After a doctor's prescription, a pharmacist will review the prescription and stick labels with QR codes on different medicines. Then, these medicines will be sent to an intelligent dispensing room, where another pharmacist will use the robot's equipment to scan the codes before the robot starts its work.
"The pharmacist only spends around 20 seconds to help the robot start the dispensing process. It will take just a few dozen seconds for a robot to make a prescription," said Tong Rongsheng, director of the pharmaceutical department at the hospital.
According to Tong, with the robot's assistance, the process of dispensing chemotherapy medicine has become more accurate while the health risks and exposure to medical workers have been reduced.
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