Seamless Vision's medicine-delivery robot. (Sheba Medical Center) (Sheba Medical Center)
robot

Four-wheeled robots zip across the Sheba Medical Center campus so that nurses can spend more time attending to patients.

By United With Israel Staff

Hospital patients often have long waits for medicine because staff have to navigate a maze of corridors, elevators and maintenance tunnels across an entire campus to reach the pharmacy.

But thanks to an Israeli startup, little robots are already zipping across Tel Aviv’s Sheba Medical Center, delivering medicine and freeing up nurses to spend more time with patients.

Sheba announced a partnership with Seamless Vision, a Tel Aviv-based startup that develops innovative autonomous logistics infrastructure — in this case, delivery robots.

Sheba, Israel’s largest medical center has been named one of Newsweek‘s top ranked smart hospitals.

For now, the four-wheeled robot will be used exclusively by Sheba’s oncology department. In the pilot program, a nurse will simply order chemotherapy drugs and the robot will deliver it. Robots will be deployed for other units in the fall.

The hospital’s chief pharmacist, Dr. Ande Lazarovich, said: “This will really make a difference to patients, as today the [golf cart] driver comes to take chemotherapy drugs once an hour, and if we prepare drugs one minute after he leaves, that patient will be waiting for another hour or more. But with the automated system, there will be several robots and they can be sent out as needed, reducing the time patients need to wait.”

Seamless Visino CEO Amir Nardimon,said that while some robotic drug delivery systems already exist, the Tel Aviv-based startup’s is more advanced because the robots are able to operate even in the most crowded areas, and able to negotiate in outdoor spaces with relatively flat surfaces, as well as indoors.

“The compartment for the drugs is refrigerated at four degrees Celsius, and is secured, meaning it’s locked so drugs can’t be removed unless people have permission,” Nardimon added, “and alerts are generated if anyone tries to mess with the robot, meaning it won’t be ‘kidnapped.’”

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