The General Directorate for Health Services at the Ministry of Defense (MODHS), represented by King Salman Armed Forces Hospital in the Northwestern region, has achieved a significant milestone that adds to Saudi Arabia's impressive track record of technological innovations.
The hospital has introduced a groundbreaking global initiative by establishing the world's first automated medication dispensing device, revolutionizing the way medications are distributed without requiring hospital visits.
According to director of the hospital’s pharmacy department, Olayan Alatawy, the machine is the first of its kind worldwide. The machine consists of a workstation that handles the prescription barcode, a screen for interaction with the beneficiaries, a specialized operating system and a messaging platform that notifies beneficiaries while the medication is being packaged ahead of delivery.
With a storage capacity ranging from 102 to 700 medical prescriptions, the machine is capable of filling prescriptions containing multiple medications, while ensuring extremely high protection against damage, tampering, or theft. Additionally, it provides statistical data on the dispensed medications to the beneficiaries on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis.
Explaining the steps for obtaining the medication through the machine, Alatawy said beneficiaries submit requests to get their prescriptions filled by scanning the barcode attached to the prescription. The user then fills in the required information and selects the nearest dispensing machine to their location. Subsequently, a pharmacist verifies the beneficiary's prescription data through an electronic system.
Once the prescription request is accepted, a text message is sent to the beneficiary with a code, the location of the device, and the status of the request. Beneficiaries can then get their medication within 48 hours from the machine by filling in the required data and entering the verification code sent to their phone.
According to english.aawsat.com