MDEA Winner Shows the Value of Nonsurgical Robots in Healthcare

Equashield’s robotic technology can help transport and handle dangerous drugs in hospital and healthcare facilities.

Equashield is proving that robots aren’t limited to just helping with surgeries in the healthcare industry. The Port Washington, N.Y.-based company and Gold winner for MDEA under the Non-Surgical and Hospital Supplies category has developed the Equashield Pro technology. The device is designed to help transport and handle dangerous drugs.

The system enables compounding large varieties of patient-specific chemotherapy doses quickly, using optimized process flow by performing multiple tasks simultaneously. The Pro’s highly reliable dose verification software reduces the occurrences of medication dosage and identification errors when preparing hazardous drugs.

“We switched from manual to automation and it took us several years,” Marino Kriheli, co-founder of Equashield, told MD+DI. “We knew exactly what we needed. “Our engineers were able to go into detail into how the automation was going to look.”

Earlier this year, Equashield said it received its first purchase orders for its Equashield Pro closed system compounding robot.

“When we introduced the Equashield Pro at ASHP in 2016, we received extremely positive feedback from pharmacy professionals. Since that time, we have refined and improved the safety and efficiency of the Pro, making it ready to enter healthcare facilities worldwide,” Kriheli said in a release. “Automation is the natural direction for the hazardous drug compounding industry, and the Pro, which utilizes our Equashield CSTD, is ready to provide the safest method for efficiently compounding hazardous drugs.”

 

The first implementations, serving as beta sites for validation, began at the beginning of 2Q18, at the Rambam Medical Center as well as another major hospital facility. Equashield also has plans to have 10 additional robots at European hospitals in Austria, Italy, Greece, and Spain.

The firm said studies have shown Equashield's technology to be faster to deploy and easier to use than competing systems, and the system has passed the proposed 2015 alcohol vapor containment protocol from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, confirming that it can contain the harshest vapors and emissions.

 

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