If you think keeping track of medication for yourself and your family is tricky, imagine what it’s like in a hospital. We’ve looked at personal pillboxes and dispensers for home use such as the EllieGrid, Pillo, and the Hero. Finland-based New Icon focuses on pharmaceuticals automation for hospital settings. At home, we want to remember to take our pills on time. In hospitals automating drug dispensing promises to add efficiency and safety in addition to timely medication presentation.

New Icon started a pilot trial program in the emergency department of Odense University Hospital earlier this year. Danish innovation network RoboCluster sponsored the pilot. Nurses reported the system was easy to learn with a short briefing. It undoubtedly helped that New Icon converted the interface to Danish for the pilot. The smart cabinet is called Emed Icon. The purpose of this first stage of application testing was to demonstrate the smart drug cabinet’s potential for occupational and patient safety.

Collaboration is set to continue with Emed Icon as a part of Patient@home, an international initiative. Patient@home focuses on technologies and services for the Danish public health services, with a focus on rehabilitation and monitoring. The ramifications of New Icon’s involvement with the Danish collaboration include potential products for home use that trickle down from larger-scale installations and programs. Many health tech solutions for individuals start with minimal funding and need to attract investment on the path to launch date. Ground-up tech development will always be important, but top-down developments have their place as well.