IV ICON Twins – From an antibiotic robot to a multi-function compounding platform
The most common question we receive when discussing the IV ICON Twins compounding system is whether it can prepare other compounded sterile products besides antibiotics. The answer to that is yes, the system can adapt to different compounding needs, not just antibiotics. The next question would usually be “why call it an antibiotic robot then?”
The first IV ICON Twins was a development project for Central Finland Central Hospital, which had a demand for compounding intravenous antibiotics as fast as possible due to their high-volume needs. The main requirement given by Central Finland Central Hospital was that the system had to efficiently mass reconstitute and compound antibiotic doses. It also needed to meet the regulatory aspects of EU’s GMP guidelines.
In 2016, the installation of the first IV ICON Twins at Central Finland Central Hospital was completed. The system is capable of mixing 400 doses per hour, and up to hundreds of thousands of doses annually. The hospital, now known as Hospital Nova, has since purchased a second IV ICON Twins due to their expansion in operation.
Even though the system was originally promoted as an antibiotic robot to answer the major need for mass compounding back then, the intention for it to compound more than just antibiotics had been taken into consideration.
After the delivery to Central Finland Central Hospital, together with the R&D department and other stakeholders, we started to explore different possibilities for the system. However, at the time, there was not much demand for mass compounding sterile preparations other than just antibiotics. Hence, the R&D did not go further than being only experiments in our test lab.
In recent years, after feedback from potential customers and our own research from the ever-developing field of compounding, we can see that the demand for a multi-function compounding platform has finally emerged. This is partly due to the rising trend of centralized compounding needs in hospital pharmacies instead of the traditional, decentralized compounding method in the wards.
The first turning point for our IV ICON Twins was realized soon after, following a tender from Helsinki University Hospital. The tender called for a compounding platform that could adapt to multiple compounding procedures with traditional and not-so-traditional products as a result. NewIcon was chosen to deliver such a platform using our IV ICON Twins.
As mentioned earlier, the intention to build a multi-function compounding platform had been considered in the early stage of designing the IV ICON Twins. That is why the first system came already with the replaceable end-of-the-arm tools. The end-of-the-arm tools on the robots can be quickly removed and changed to different applications that will then perform other compounding functions. Together with our own developed software and loading modules, the system can flexibly adapt to various compounding needs, from the most common preparations to the more advanced ones, such as the compounding of eye injection or vaccines – to name some of the possibilities.
The unique design of the system allows for a flexibility that is needed to answer the diverse needs in compounding of every hospital. With this new direction, we expect the possible applications for the IV ICON Twins to be virtually endless.
To get more information about Helsinki University Hospital’s project of the IV ICON Twins Compounding System, stay tuned for our upcoming news release. Also, feel free to contact us for any discussion about the system and how it manages different compounding needs.