ForHealth Technologies launches PARxD IV robotic preparation system for hospital pharmacy operations

Oklahoma City 20 December 2001ForHealth Technologies Inc. has unveiled its newest medical delivery technology, the PARxD IV, a robotic technology which can prepare 60 to 300 syringe-based dosages per hour with an accuracy rate of 0.6 micro liters, a level far more precise than current manual processes. The PARxD IV can complete 500 syringes in 8 hours without operator intervention.


"The PARxD IV is designed to alleviate the continued shortage of hospital pharmacy professionals by preparing syringe-based medications in a safe, timely and highly accurate manner for quality patient care", stated Joel A. Osborne, founder and CEO of ForHealth Technologies. "At a time when the United States health care system is asked to produce more with less funds and valued staff, the PARxD IV can offer peace of mind for health care providers and their patients while delivering valuable cost benefits for hospital administrators."

Three significant market trends have driven the development of the PARxD IV technology:

  1. A June 2001 survey conducted by the American Hospital Association shows nearly 21 percent, more than 12.600, of the pharmacist jobs in hospitals are unfilled. Industry experts expect to see a continued downward trend for several more years.
  2. The explosion in demand for prescription drugs as the United States population has aged and health care plans offering prescription drug coverage have expanded.
  3. A 1999 study by the Institute of Medicine on medication errors shows that five to six percent of intravenous (IV) medications are prepared incorrectly.

Mr. Osborne explained that three health care facilities have purchased the product for delivery in early 2002. The first system will be installed at Advocate Health-Lutheran General Hospital in Oak Brook, Illinois, with Minneapolis Children's Hopsital and Spectrum Health of Grand Rapids, Michigan, to follow.

"We are excited to be the first health system to bring live the ForHealth Technologies IV Robot, PARxD IV. We believe that the adoption of this technology will enhance patient safety through the use of barcoding, reduce medication costs, and improve pharmacy operational efficiency", stated Dr. Lee Sacks, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Advocate Health System in Chicago. "Through this partnership with ForHealth Technologies, we will continue our history of pharmacy technology innovation and leadership at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital."

Designed and manufactured in a partnership between ForHealth Technologies Inc. and Carlsbad, California-based RoboDesign International Inc., the PARxD IV selects, reconstitutes, assembles, and labels small volume parenteral (SVP) products in syringe-based dosage forms. The task stations are primarily contained within a laminar flow field assuring an extremely clean environment for performing the drug reconstitution steps. Maintenance of the PARxD IV system is managed via remote network diagnostics as well as on-site work performed by certified ForHealth Technologies specialists.

The technology employs barcode scanning, vision control systems, and weight confirmation steps to assure that the correct drug is being prepared for the correct patient at all times. Its syringe aspiration and transfer mechanisms are utilised to mix the drug in the vial and transfer the appropriate amount into a syringe for further dilution. PARxD IV occupies a footprint of approximately nine feet in length, three feet in depth, and seven feet in height. The control system is a Microsoft Windows based PC performing operating functions. The system control is RoboSoft Motion software featuring RoboView, a graphical touch-screen operator interface.

Another significant benefit of the PARxD IV technology is the Drug Storage Cabinet which contains up to 60 columns capable of storing up to 30 vials each, depending upon the size of the vials being stored. Multiple dose vials can also be stored and managed by the system. "More than 30 hospitals and health systems nationwide are currently in the PARxD IV sales process proving that ForHealth Technologies has developed a viable technology that fills a void in hospital pharmacy automation", stated Doug Zurawski, Sales Manager for ForHealth Technologies.

Founded by Joel A. Osborne in 1997, ForHealth Technologies Inc. is a technology company focused on improving the operating efficiencies of drug distribution systems in hospital pharmacies. Strategic partners include RoboDesign International, which manages the engineering design and manufacturing of ForHealth Technologies' automated devices; Americorp, which is responsible for leasing the company's products; and the Alpha Group, which leads global business development.

Leslie Versweyveld

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