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Brentt J. Arcement
Last week industry leader AVT introduced a hi-tech, low-cost biometric fingerprint recognition for medicine dispensing Medicine dispensing is a a very large, growing market.
Other companies have introduced higher-cost medicine dispensing solutions than AVT, including a hospital in the south suburbs, which provides a 24-hour vending machine for prescription drugs.
That service is called InstyMeds and it's for emergency room patients at MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island, Illinois. The vending machine is filled with drugs commonly used for emergency patients. The idea is to help patients avoid having to search for a pharmacy at all hours when they're sent home from the ER.
Over the past five years he has been quoted over 500 times by such financial media as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, USA Today among others.
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His varied personal interests include violin playing. For example, he is concertmaster of the Palisades Symphony. He also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School (finance) and an AB from Princeton University (economics).
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ER doctors enter prescription details electronically so the machine can determine patients' insurance information including co-pays. Patients can use a debit or credit card to make their purchases.
Also, in the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s began a trial of prescription vending machines, which are aimed at allowing customers to securely and conveniently collect NHS prescriptions. A UK first, the scheme was piloted in two Sainsbury’s stores in Sussex, in Hayward’s Heath and West Green.
The prescription vending machines, manufactured by Asteres, are offered as an additional choice alongside the shop’s in-store pharmacy service, thereby ensuring that customers still have the option of speaking to a pharmacist.
Each machine can hold up to 450 packs of medicines and each pack has a barcode so the machine can identify it. Customers using the service must register and create a unique ID and PIN code. A qualified pharmacist checks that the medication has been properly prescribed before placing it into the machine along with information telling the patient how the medication should be taken.
The supermarket states that the vending machines are simple to use for deposit and collection. When depositing, customers sign in and fill out a prescription form, and place into the envelope provided. They then follow the remaining instructions on screen and take the printed receipt with the collection time and other relevant details.
When collecting medication, customers again sign in at the vending machine using their unique ID and PIN code. All prescriptions due for collection will appear on screen, and payment details will appear if applicable. Prescriptions can then be picked up from the collection point.
A spokesman for the supermarket chain said, “They are especially popular with the over 60s. Since they were launched over 3000 transactions have taken place and we have received just the one complaint.”
AVT’s biometric technology, however, is far superior, makes the transaction easier, and speeds up processing for the user.
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