Wednesday, January 12, 2011

DOD's Dispensing Units

The Department of Defense is studying new medication methods to use to deliver individual doses of medication at regularly scheduled times and in the correct dosage. The Navy has partnered with DOD’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) to study the potential benefits of a “Telepharmacy Robotic Medication Dispensing Unit” (TRMDU) for returning service members suffering from traumatic brain injuries or suffering from psychological stress.

The study will evaluate the impact of point-of-care medication delivery systems on medication adherence, drug related problems, the effect on hospital admissions and emergency department visits, impact of TRMDU’s on patient pain, on the psychological well-being and health-related quality of life, and lastly, the study will evaluate the costs for using TRMDUs.

The TRMDU, a FDA approved medical device is to be located in a warrior transition unit. The device with two-way communication software enables a healthcare professional to remotely manage prescriptions stored and released by the patient operated delivery unit. The delivery unit is about the size of a bread box and plugs into a standard power outlet. It stores prescription medications, emits an audible alert to the patient when the prescribed medications are scheduled to be taken, and then releases the medications onto a delivery tray.

Medications are delivered at appropriate times when the system is activated by the patient. Healthcare professionals would be able to use a web-based application to remotely schedule or adjust a patient’s prescribed medications and they are notified each time a patient accesses the system.

The TRMDU is a patient-friendly device linked wirelessly to software that can be used in a number of environments. Each TRMDU holds a one month supply of up to ten prescriptions and multiple TRMDUs may be connected to increase the number of managed prescriptions.