Company develops unmanned pharmacy for Wuhan hospital

An unmanned pharmacy will be used in central China’s Wuhan city to automatically dispense traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to COVID-19 patients at Leishenshan Hospital, according to its developer.

The pharmacy, developed by Suzhou XinHeng Automation Technology Co., Ltd in Jiangsu Province, is about 2 meters in length, 0.6 meter in width and 1.6 meters in height, with a total area of 1.2 square meters.

The unmanned TCM pharmacy is the smaller version of the fully automatic TCM pharmacy previously developed by the company, with aims to make the pharmacy smarter and more suitable for the special situation in Wuhan, according to Lu Haiying, the chairman of the company.

The machine can dispense 48 types of herbal medicines prescribed to treat COVID-19 patients.

“One dose of TCM medicine could be dispensed in 5 seconds,” said Lu.

It is expected to help ease pharmacist shortages in hospitals, as the machine can provide services to about 1,100 patients per day, equivalent to the work of 60 pharmacists working for 24 hours.