Visiting the pharmacy can be a hassle. Getting in line, waiting for your turn, presenting your prescription, waiting for your turn again and finally, receiving your prescription.
Words: Razaan Ganatra
However, all could change with Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) announcement of robot pharmacist at Dubai Hospital that can dispense 12 prescriptions in under a minute and hold an incredible 35,000 medicines.
Each medicine has a barcode to ensure patients receive the right prescriptions and the temperature of the pills and ointments are monitored constantly to ensure quality and safety.
Dr Ali Al Sayed, director of the Pharmaceutical Services Department of DHA, says allowing the robot to dispense medication would allow the pharmacist to focus on the customer – so humans will still be on hand to give instruction on how to take medicines.
This smart pharmacy at the 625-bed facility in Al Baraha is the first of its kind in the Middle East, although the DHA has already installed a robot pharmacist at Rashid Hospital last January.
In Dubai, robots are rapidly taking over day-to-day tasks, from Dubai Police’s robotic cop to testing driverless cars that shuttle shoppers to malls and now smart pharmacies are set to roll out to all DHA hospitals and health centres.