Dartmouth Health has deployed three autonomous mobile robots at its Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in New Hampshire, US.

The three TUG robots have been acquired for delivering medication from the pharmacy to the inpatient units in the newly opened Patient Pavilion.

Dartmouth Health project manager Jill Cote said: “The addition of the TUGs ensures more predictable delivery schedules to the Patient Pavilion’s inpatient units: two of the robots will be on a regular schedule, and the third will operate within the pharmacy and can be deployed for ad hoc requests.”

Designed to offer secure transport for medications, the robots activate their door to enter and exit the receiving area of the pharmacy.

The drawers in the unit will be locked and can only be opened by authorised staff in specific areas.

These robots will not carry any controlled substances as an additional security measure.

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Furthermore, the robots can differentiate between fixed objects and people.

DHMC medication systems and operations clinical pharmacist lead Pranati Kuchimanchi said: “With a hospital as expansive as ours, time is of the essence, and these robots will be ‘tugging’ along to help us make the most of every minute.

“By automating medication transportation, we can allocate more pharmacy resources toward essential patient-care tasks like compounding and compliance, all while upholding our commitment to safe and accurate medication distribution.”

Dartmouth Health is claimed to be New Hampshire’s only academic health system, as well as the largest private employer in the state that serves patients across northern New England.