Hospital Clinic incorporates a robot for the automatic preparation of cytostatics

The Hospital Clínic of Barcelona has today announced the incorporation of an automated robot at the Pharmacy Department for the automatic preparation of chemotherapy treatments. This is the first equipment of its kind to be installed in Catalonia and its acquisition has been possible thanks to a donation from the Oncologic Foundation of Catalonia (FOC). The presentation has been chaired by Dr. Boi Ruiz, Minister of Health of the Generalitat of Catalonia, and have also participated Dr. Josep M. Piqué, General Director of the Clinic, Dr. Carles Codina, Head of the Pharmacy Department, Dr. Alvaro Urbano, Head of the Clinic Institute of Haematological and Oncological Diseases  (ICMHO) at Hospital Clínic, Ms. Dolores de Oya, President of the Oncologic Foundation of Catalonia (FOC), and Dr. José Sánchez de Toledo, President of the Scientific Adviser Board at FOC.

The preparation of cytostatics for intravenous administration for cancer patients is a procedure that has to be well controlled since each one of these patients requires a certain formulation and dosage. In addition, these drugs are highly toxic, with the risk that entails for the professionals that manipulate them. This innovative equipment, the Kiro Oncology robot form Kiro Robotics S.L., provides a more accurate traceability when preparing formulations, leading to a greater patient safety, and maintains minimal risk conditions for workers who prepare them.

One of the main advantages of the robot that has already been installed in the Clinic is that it is equipped with two arms that work independently and make it much more versatile than other robots. It also provides a very precise traceability, ie, you can accurately track the entire process of preparation, because it has cameras to identify the packaging and materials (syringes, needles, etc.) required for each formulation.

This automation of the cytostatics preparation process allows a lower drug exposure, since the area where preparations are made is isolated and waste collection is performed directly. Moreover, the robot incorporates a self cleaning function, which no other robot has, that allows a careful decontamination and cleaning of the cabin preparation.

With this innovative equipment 5 cytostatic can be prepared in each cycle, which lasts 20 minutes, and it will work either by product or per patient, depending on the needs of the department. The robot will be initially used for cyclophosphamide and 5-fluorouracil, drugs that account for the greater number of preparations in the hospital, and its use will be further optimized for other cytostatics.

The FOC has funded this project thanks to the commitment and economic participation of  "la Caixa" Foundation. “Jesus Serra Foundation” and the “Antonio Serra Santamans Foundation” have also collaborated.