When administering chemotherapy treatment there is a very subtle difference between a dose that cures and one that causes a patient problems. Administering chemotherapy is an extremely high risk process that has now found an essential partner in the form of a robot which, after several months’ testing, is now “working” preparing individual chemotherapy doses at Onkologikoa, the only specialist cancer treatment centre in the Basque Country.
This robot was manufactured by Kiro Robotics, a company founded in Aretxabaleta (Gipuzkoa) by Corporación MONDRAGON and promoted by MONDRAGON Health, the Corporation’s strategic unit dedicated to the Health Sector. Named Kiro Oncology and designed in collaboration with Onkologikoa professionals, it currently represents the most advanced global technology for chemotherapy preparation in hospital pharmacies. Hospitals in several countries have already shown their interest in the Kiro Robotics prototype, which may be marketed shortly.
Exactness and precision
Dr. Gerardo Cajaraville, Head of the Onkologikoa Pharmacy Department, emphasizes that the task assigned to the robot is “extraordinarily complex”. “Given the complexity of the chemotherapy circuit and the need for each patient to be dosed individually, it is easy to make mistakes. The robot is an aid to minimise that risk”, explains Dr. Cajaraville.
The key requirement for chemotherapy dose preparation is exactness and precision. In addition, it represents the need to implement complex procedures to ensure the safety of workers performing this task.
Participation of the Kiro Oncology robot also enables worker exposure to pharmacological products to be substantially reduced. The tests performed with the prototype robot during these months have been completely satisfactory, largely due to the sophisticated software system supporting this process at Onkologikoa, as well as the advanced manual preparation methods which were already being used.