Derry robotics firm making pharmaceuticals safer

The boss of a Derry robotics firm, which tracks and traces pharmaceutical pills from manufacture to patient consumption, says he's chuffed after receiving the R&D Project of the Year award at the UTV Business Eye Awards 2016.

Saturday, 17th December 2016, 7:00 pm
Sean McNicholl, CEO SPHERE Global receives R&D Project of the Year Award from Peter McVerry, Station Manager at U105, The automation and robotics firm, SPHERE Global was delighted to have won the Research and Development Project of the Year award and being highly commended in the International award category as well as a finalist in the Company of the Year award at the recent UTV Business Eye Awards 2016.

Chief Executive of the Campsie-based firm, SPHERE Global, Sean McNicholl, said: “The R&D award is in recognition of our work, particularly in the healthcare sector, in helping to address the major issue of the process of getting medicines from manufacturers to patients.

“We have developed a solution that rectifies the many flaws that can take place in this process and helps the flow of medical treatment through all of its avenues.

“Through our automatic picking and packing of single pills for patient prescriptions, in addition to developing the largest Original Pack Dispensing facility in Europe which handles the fulfilment of patient prescriptions, we have helped streamline the process.”

Recent studies report that approximately half of patients could not correctly report how and when to take their medication 10 to 80 minutes after they were provided with the information.

Another study reported that over 60 per cent of the patients interviewed after the visit with their doctors had misunderstood the directions regarding prescribed medications.

Mr McNicholl said: “In order to address this issue as well as eliminate medication fraud, reduce shrinkage, effectively monitor a patient’s progress on current medication via biometrics and to improve overall health of patients and reduce costs to the NHS, we designed a track and trace system along with the use of biometric data.

“Pharmaceutical products are tracked and traced from manufacturers through to consumption at patient level in addition to the recording of patient’s biometric data along with the current condition tied to their medications.

“The features of this solution include alarm features for wrongful dosage, reducing the risk of misadministration and eliminating administration work for nurses as it is a paperless system.

“To receive this award for the project is a fantastic accolade for us and to be highlighted amongst some of the very best companies in Northern Ireland is a great honour. I would like to thank all the staff at SPHERE Global for their hard work and continued support.”

At the awards presentation, SPHERE Global was also highly commended in the International award for its continued investment and expansion in the work it does and was a finalist in the Company of the Year.

From beginning with just four employees working from a one-room office in Derry-Londonderry, today there is a 100,000 sq ft warehouse and over 70 employees now working with some of the world’s best-known brands from Amazon to Apple, Coca Cola and Dell.