Now, Bohlmann does the same thing with pills. Prescription pills. Maybe for your grandmother, if she lives in a nursing home.
Bohlmann is the vice president of automated solutions for
"There is a lot of difference, but in the end, there are not a lot of differences," Bohlmann said when asked if packaging medicine was similar to shipping books, from an engineering standpoint. As the company's machines whirred and whooshed in the background, Bohlmann paused only a second, knowing the difference can be life or death if Grandma gets the wrong medicine.
"There are a lot more regulations and double-checks" when it comes to medication, Bohlmann said. "If you don't get your book from
For years, daily medication has often been shipped to nursing homes in 30-day packages called bingo cards. The attending nurse remains responsible for unpacking each day's pills, usually into a paper cup. Some seniors have 20-plus daily doses and the nurse has to keep track.
If a patient's prescription changes or the patient leaves the facility, remaining pills are supposed to be thrown out, wasting money and perhaps polluting nearby waterways.
With pharmacists taking and checking orders, Remedi's machines create a personalized package of individually wrapped medicines that is delivered daily, with only a one-day cushion. At six spots along the way, photographs are taken of the medicine or the packaged pill (with a bar code) to create a record.
The idea is to reduce cost and waste, save time for nurses, and improve safety. Remedi's robotic Paxit machines, which have their own patents pending, can service 10,000 patients per day. They cost
Remedi is a private company, with 650 employees working in
Before Bronfein took over as CEO, Remedi -- like the dominant player in the sector,
"Health care," Bronfein said, "is very slow-moving in the way it changes."
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