Madhya Pradesh state health department is set to introduce automated medicine dispensing machines. The new and unique machine is similar to an ATM machine, it recognizes prescriptions and dispenses medicine.
Dr KK Thassu, director health in charge hospital maintenance, said, "A trial run of the project will take place at five rural health centers in Betul district, some 180 km from the state capital. Project is likely to begin in July."
Automated medicine dispenser will be guided by a health worker. Once the patient comes to the healthcare center, blood pressure and pulse will be checked by a machine installed along with the dispenser.
The patient will then be directed to a telemedicine doctor, who after registering the case will automatically alert the machine to dispense medicines.
The scheme has been introduced at the behest of Central Medical Services Society (CMSS), a Central procurement agency under Union ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW).
In rural healthcare environment the machine will overcome the need for on-site pharmacist and doctor. Initially, only generic drugs will be available in the machines. Officials said that patient data captured and registered electronically will also generate valuable epidemiological data.
The state health department has 8,764 sub-centers, 1,157 primary health center (PHC) and 334 community health centers (CHC). More than 600 PHCs are functioning without doctors and about 24 CHCs do not have a single doctor.