Medication Smart Hub

Background

Spencer Health Care Solutions needed a cost-competitive production solution for their spooler, which is used by pharmacists to pre-package medication for automated dispensation.

Challenges

The Porticos design team focused on the many device requirements, including that it would be:

  • Small enough to fit on a countertop
  • Fast enough to produce a medication pack every 30 seconds
  • Reliable enough to be a life-or-death part of a healthcare plan
  • Feature ethernet capability
  • Feature easy-to-navigate touchscreen

 

The Spooler “Arm”

The spooler’s “arm” interfaces with a hub in the cartridge to perform the winding function. A traditional latching mechanism originally secured the arm in place, but the latch was not flexible enough for the pharmacists to easily disengage the arm.

Porticos engineers devised a unique magnetic solution that not only meets the functional requirements but exceeds the life cycle requirements.

Winding Mechanism

As the name suggests, the spooler’s main function is to wind and unwind the foil packets of medication to fill the cartridge. One of the obstacles to performing that function was the medication packs jamming or being torn by the mechanisms during that process.

To overcome this obstacle, Porticos engineers ideated a variety of unique mechanisms and performed experiments to prove the concepts. As a result, Porticos was able to create a Spooler that winds and unwinds smoothly every time.

Outcomes

Through this Project, Porticos engineers were named inventors on multiple patents. At the same time, Porticos had to ensure the high-quality standards required in the medical field were met. The manufacturing arm, Porticos Asia was able to identify a group of TS 14969 or ISO 13485 certified suppliers in China for the custom plastic, molded metal stamping, and CNC machined parts, as well as for the final assembly and testing from their comprehensive database of manufacturers. Porticos Asia was able to ship the first production batch just 12 weeks after the start of the custom tool build.

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