Two North East MSPs have welcomed the start of a trial whereby a robotic kiosk, developed as part of an Aberdeen University lead project, will dispense vital medicine in a rural North East community.
Christian Allard and Stewart Stevenson visited the Post Office in Inverallochy this week to take his turn on the new piece of technology which is the talk of the town.
The robot kiosk, developed in an Aberdeen University research project, is enabling residents to speak with pharmacists in Fraserburgh via webcam and receive medicines dispensed straight from the machine.
The trial examines how better services can be delivered to rural areas. Should the trial be successful, similar schemes could be rolled out in other parts of Aberdeenshire and across rural Scotland.
The robotic kiosk, which cost around £150,000 to develop, allows customers to speak to a pharmacist at Bairds Pharmacy in Fraserburgh via webcam.
The kiosk is filled with a range of prescription and over-the-counter remedies which can then be dispensed as necessary.
Testing the new kiosk at the Inverallochy Post Office, Stewart Stevenson MSP said: “Rural communities sometimes struggle to retain local amenities so this trial is a very important step in ensuring that such vital pharmacy services can be provided locally and efficiently. It is important to our health, and to the health of our rural town centres, to have facilities on our doorstep.
“I am very proud that this trial is a product of the North-east from start to finish – researched at the University of Aberdeen and delivered for trial in Inverallochy and Fraserburgh.
“I would encourage my constituents to make use of the new easy-to-use tool and I will follow the project with a keen interest.”
Commenting, Christian Allard MSP said: “It is important that rural communities have ease of access to the services and expertise of a local pharmacist.
“I welcome the trial at Inverallocy lead by Aberdeen University – If medicine can be dispensed by the kiosk safely and securely it will save people the trouble of travelling long distances or buying over the counter medicine without proper advice.
“It is important that people use the services provided by their local pharmacy where possible and this trial could make such services more accessible – patients can get the right practitioner for the right ailment.”