New pharmacy robot to debut at Cone Health Cancer Center

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Cone Health’s Cancer Center is set to launch the use of a new pharmacy robot in September called APOTECA CHEMO.

The half a million dollar system comes from the Italian company Loccioni.

Meant to improve accuracy of mixing and measuring, the robot will assist the technicians to better serve their cancer patients.

“What is does it is interfaces with our electronic medical record, so when a patient's chemotherapy is double verified by a pharmacist the order is actually sent to the robot,” Director of Oncology Pharmacy Services Adam Peele said. “You have a pharmacy technician that loads the chemotherapy and then the robot will mix it.”

The robot will not replace current technician positions. The robot actually will work to protect employees from exposure and cut the preparation time on average from 18 for five minutes.

“The robot is taking the syringes, taking the needles and interacting with that so you take the human element out of there. It’s within a closed space so again that minimizes that amount of time the employees are exposed to the hazardous drugs,” Peele said.

An official launch date has not yet been announced but Peele said that the system has been tested for trial and error. A second robot will launch at Alamance Regional in November. ​