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Aethon Develops First-Ever Solution for Automated Replenishment of Pharmacy ADCs

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 General News J E 4
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Unique technology saves hospitals time, increases accuracy of medication supply, and provides chain of custody documentation



ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Aethon Inc., the leading developer of mobile robotic solutions for hospital supply chain logistics, announced today at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting that it has developed a patent-pending replenishment solution for Automated Dispensing Cabinets (ADCs) in hospitals. Designed to automate inventory replenishment, it is the first technology on the market that can remotely control cabinets in order to reduce the number of steps staff go through during restocking transactions. Built on Aethon's existing patented transportation and location platform, Aethon has added positive identification capabilities, using either passive RFID or bar codes. The combination provides for the most complete set of positive identification credentials and the ability to automate the replenishment process.



Aethon's unique solution adds to the capabilities of its TUG(TM) robot, an affordable, automated transportation system for the delivery of hospital goods and supplies. Aethon's existing TUG platform, combined with its patent-pending technology to remotely control the restocking of ADCs, provides positive identification and automation of chain of custody transfer of medications from a hospital's pharmacy to an ADC.



"Our combination of robotics and passive RFID tag technology answers a significant hospital need," said Peter Seiff, Vice President, Customer Solutions for Aethon. "The solution facilitates the transportation of inventory from the pharmacy to ADCs located throughout the hospital, reducing the labor needed in this traditionally labor-intensive process while increasing accuracy during the ADC inventory replenishment process."



Despite the convenience of ADCs, which have become ubiquitous in modern hospitals as a means of dispensing medication, the current model for their use has also created inefficiencies, particularly in the area of inventory maintenance. Restocking ADCs with medications is labor-intensive and prone to inaccuracies, while difficult to provide adequate oversight of the process.



Aethon's Solution - How It Works

With Aethon's new technology, items in need of replenishment are loaded into the TUG med-replenish cart and TUG reads the passive RFID tag, creating the beginning of the chain of custody record. TUG is dispatched to the ADC, where it is met by a designated staff member assigned to assist with the replenishment of the ADCs.



The TUG's passive RFID reader authorizes the staff member using his or her employee badge, unlocks the TUG med-replenish cart, and communicates with the appropriate ADC based on its location. The ADC responds by displaying a list of items that need to be replenished. When the staff member removes an item from the TUG med-replenish cart, it is automatically recognized via a passive RFID tag and the ADC is alerted that the item is to be restocked. The ADC automatically unlocks and opens the appropriate drawer for restocking. Once the quantity is confirmed and added to the ADC, TUG completes the chain of custody record.



Aethon's replenishment solution is designed to work with all brands of ADCs. The replenishment solution is currently in its beta phase, and Aethon is in discussions with several ADC manufacturers about integration. The complete solution will be demonstrated at Aethon's booth (#2458) during the show. For more information, visit www.aethon.com.



About Aethon

Based in Pittsburgh, Pa., Aethon is a leader in healthcare Supply Chain Logistics and Workflow Solutions, providing a broad range of departmental and hospital-wide applications that automate the movement of goods (such as medications, supplies, meals, equipment, etc.), improve asset utilization, and ensure regulatory compliance. Aethon delivers its solutions through a proprietary autonomous mobile robot, the TUG(TM), which reduces cost, enhances clinical productivity, improves workflow, and allows clinicians to focus more time on what matters most in patient care: the human touch. TUGs have demonstrated ROIs in the 20 to 50 percent range, while improving nurse and patient satisfaction. More than 100 hospitals nationwide have deployed Aethon's technology. For more information, visit www.aethon.com.



SOURCE Aethon Inc.
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