Report: Successful pilot of pharmaceutical robots in Södertälje, Sweden

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Results from a four-year-long evaluation of Nordic biotech company Evondos’ pharmaceutical robots by Capio Närsjukvård in Södertälje reveal that patients are happier, the working environment of healthcare staff improved and valuable time was freed up for staff to perform other important tasks by spending less time dispensing medicines.

“Patient safety was also high, as our robots have very stable delivery reliability. We are extremely pleased with the outcome and proud to have been able to contribute to a positive improvement of service”, says Clarence Jacobson, CEO at Evondos AB.

The number of elderly residents in Region Stockholm, like the rest of Sweden, is steadily increasing each year. According to figures from the government agency Statistics Sweden, the proportion of the Swedish population over 65 is estimated to rise to 24 per cent by 2030. This increase represents a significant challenge for the country’s healthcare system, and means new working methods and technologies need to be found to reduce the number of unnecessary appointments or home visits.

In response to this the healthcare administration in Stockholm and Capio Närsjukvård began a pilot project back in 2018 to evaluate the impact of Evondos’ service (which includes medicine dispensing robots). During the four-year project 109 patients received medicine dispensing robots, and approximately 116,000 doses of medication were dispensed in Södertälje.

“In Södertälje compliance - or delivery reliability - has been even higher during the pilot than what we would normally expect from our robots, which is 99.6 per cent”, says Clarence Jacobson.

The results of the pilot show that the use of medicine dispensing robots appears to lead to higher levels of patient engagement, as well as to an improved work environment for healthcare staff. Patients seem very satisfied with the service, while healthcare staff have generally welcomed the use of medicine dispensing robots, which free up time for them to perform other important tasks instead of handing out medicines to patients.

“We feel more secure with Evondos. The service contributes to us being able to ensure the proper distribution of medicines, regardless of the patient’s situation. We are confident those who need medicine will receive their correct dosage at the exact same time every day. It's very reassuring”, says Susanne VanCrete, Operations Manager at Capio.

Throughout the course of the pilot study both patients and their relatives had to indicate how likely it was that they would recommend pharmaceutical robots to someone else in a similar situation using a scale of 1-10, where 10 represents the highest probability. Patients gave an average value of 9.8, while relatives gave the Evondos service the maximum 10 points.

“We already knew that relatives were extremely satisfied with our medicine dispensing robots. They feel secure that, for example, their frail father gets the right medicine at the right time and that healthcare professionals will receive an alarm if the medicine is not taken”, says Clarence Jacobson, who continues:

“In addition, patients gain a greater sense ofindependence. They don't have to adapt to homecare staff’s scheduled visits to give them medicine so they get more control over their own time. And if they go away for the day staff can ensure patients get multiple doses dispensed at the same time. Medicine dispensing robots create a great deal of freedom and provide the opportunity to stay at home for longer”.

Today, healthcare providers in the Stockholm Region are only compensated for physical visits, which means their visitor income would drop significantly by using medicine dispensing robots.

“Despite the obvious benefits for patients, caregivers and the region, contract adjustments or special compensation for medicine dispensing robots have not yet been introduced. The reimbursement models are, however, being reviewed. This is important, as the entire healthcare system in Sweden must be restructured in order to take proper care of our elderly”, says Clarence Jacobson.

Despite completing the pilot study, Capio in Södertälje has chosen to continue using Evondos’ service  for the sake of both its elderly patients and its staff, even though they do not receive any reimbursement due to Region Stockholm's current compensation model.

Clarence Jacobson believes medicine dispensing robots make it possible to create flexible schedules for healthcare staff and avoid workload peaks.

“Multiple medicines must be dispensed at eight o'clock in the morning, and it can be difficult for staff to attend to everyone on time. But by using our service, patients can receive their medicine in peace and quiet and healthcare staff avoid getting stressed. And to top it off they even get more time to help others”, says Clarence Jacobson.

Read the entire report by clicking at the attached pdf (NOTE: the report is written in Swedish).

För mer information eller intervjuer, kontakta: 
Clarence Jacobson, VD, Evondos AB
+46 70 225 5138

Om Evondos
Evondos erbjuder tjänster för patientsäker läkemedelshantering i hemsjukvården. Med hjälp av en läkemedelsrobot i hemmet möjliggörs ett självständigare liv för patienten samtidigt som denne får hjälp att ta medicinen i rätt tid och i rätt dos. Evondos grundades i Finland och har dotterbolag i Sverige, Norge och Danmark.