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Telepharmacy gets a boost in Canada
January 21st, 2011
OAKVILLE, Ontario – The Canadian government is supplying funds for the development of a telepharmacy-based personal medication management system.
Health care technology provider PharmaTrust said Friday that Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement announced funding of up to $300,000 for the development of its MedHome device, which addresses the critical issue of medication adherence by helping patients better manage their prescription drugs and stay compliant with their therapy.
MedHome will leverage technology from PharmaTrust's MedCentre (shown above) telepharmacy kiosk.
An in-home device, MedHome dispenses unit doses to patients at preset times, and it provides patient monitoring and reminders to help ensure patient health and safety. PharmaTrust said the user-friendly device also allows patients to connect with a pharmacist, doctor or caregiver, as well as an emergency response provider, at the touch of a button.
The funding for PharmaTrust will come from the National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) and will support software and engineering development to deliver a working MedHome prototype, according to the company.
"We are pleased to be able to support the inventive work of PharmaTrust in remote health care technologies," Clement said in a statement. "Partnering with organizations like PharmaTrust to foster the development of innovative technologies creates valuable opportunities for Canadian business, both at home and abroad."
MedHome will leverage technology from PharmaTrust's MedCentre, a telepharmacy kiosk that uses advanced robotics, scanning and videoconferencing to link individuals in real time to a pharmacist in another location, providing face-to-face live interaction. MedCentre takes a digital scan of a prescription, counts out or selects the appropriate medication, and then releases it to the patient. The process is controlled remotely by the pharmacist at the other end of the videoconference.
The company said MedCentre can dispense more than 2,000 types of medications and remarked that the technology "can put 24-hour pharmacies anywhere."
PharmaTrust reported that in 2009 NRC-IRAP announced a $1.5 million contribution to support the development of a telepharmacy, primary care platform and advanced manufacturing techniques and technology by the company.
"When patients receive multiple medications, they face an increased risk of complications which arise due to noncompliance and adherence to their medication orders," stated Don Waugh, chief executive officer of PharmaTrust. "Many individuals have trouble properly following their medication schedule as directed by their physician."
In late August, a television segment by global news network CNN dubbed the MedCentre telepharmacy solution as game-changing technology that could impact the pharmacy industry similar to the way that ATMs affected the banking sector.