The University of Colorado Hospital is about to start using a robot to mix chemotherapy drugs for patients, which its developers say will eliminate human error and protect technicians from potentially dangerous drugs.
This is the first time the chemotherapy compounding robot will be used in the United States, according to Shawn Riley, vice president of Primus Innovations Inc., which is collaborating with robot developer Health Robotics to distribute the technology. He noted that the technology is being used in Europe.
“The robot eliminates calculation errors,” said Nancy Stolpman, director of pharmacy at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver, which administers chemo to 80 to 100 patients a day. “[Mistakes] happen. Pharmacists and technicians are no different than any other human. They make errors. Just one decimal point [off in calculation] can be a 10-fold overdose for a patient. It can be very dangerous,” she said.