Autonomous mobile robot added to 21 hospitals in 2013

Last year, mobile robot maker Aethon says 21 hospitals started using Intralogistics, a supply chain logistics platform that uses the TUG autonomous robot to transport and deliver materials throughout hospitals. (Intralogistics also includes a software system that tracks medication deliveries to ensure chain-of-custody.)

According to the company, more than 400 TUG robots now make 50,000 deliveries a week transporting medications, meals, linens and other supplies.

“Robots are becoming more common in our workplaces,” Aethon CEO Aldo Zini said in a statement. “With healthcare organizations required to serve an increasingly aging population yet respond to the pressure on costs they need to do more with their current staff. This means each person must spend more time doing the highest-value aspects of their job. For example, mid-level clinicians will need to spend more time performing clinical duties rather than logistical tasks. To illustrate, a recent Harvard Business School study of nursing workflow indicated that nearly 50 percent of operational breakdowns are a result of supply problems and inefficiently designed processes.”

Earlier this month, Aethon reported that it received a $3 million investment from trade and investment company Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.) Inc., which augmented a $4 million investment in April 2012. Aethon said the funds will support an expansion of its U.S.-based sales force and increased marketing efforts. The company also noted that it will increase its business development efforts in foreign markets using Mitsui’s relationships worldwide.

[ photo courtesy of Aethon ]