A light 602 enables computer 103 to communicate to the user, for example flashing the light to direct the user to restock this particular dispensing mechanism. FIG. As is visible in FIG. The various kinds of dispensing mechanisms may be installed in the restock drawer in any workable proportion and arrangement. SOP FOR UNIT DOSE DISPENSING SYSTEM (UDDS) I. Emitter 1807 may be of any suitable type of emitter, and may emit light in any suitable wavelength or combinations of wavelengths. FIGS. In the US, for example, unit-dose medicine dispensing has been in force for many years and the system works well: laboratories send loose tablets to pharmacists, who in turn give patients the correct number of prescribed tablets in plastic bottles. FIG. All of the active components of dispensing mechanism 3600 reside in dispenser 3601. 29, a spring-loaded idler 2908 maintains tension on belt 2901, and takes up the unevenness of the travel of belt 2901 over square sprocket 2906. Sprocket 2906 is non-circular. 6,151,536, issued on Nov. 21, 2000 to Arnold et al., U.S. Pat. By using more sophisticated monitoring strategies, accidental dispensing of multiple items may be detected. 8,131,397 to Vahlberg et al., issued on Mar. ENTITY STATUS SET TO UNDISCOUNTED (ORIGINAL EVENT CODE: BIG. 54 with the light being reflected by a dispensed item. For example, logic signals from a supervisory controller elsewhere within restock drawer 106 may operate dispenser 2701. Similarly, dispense drawer 107 can slide in and out of restock drawer 106 on similar guides not easily visible in FIG. If cassette 4402 arrives at its destination with all of ties 5001 intact, it may be assumed that no tampering or accidental dispensing has occurred. 6B, a connector 603, compatible with connectors 302 on rails 201, is positioned to engage one of connectors 302 when dispensing mechanism 202 is installed in restock drawer 106. FIG. For example, in a hospital setting, it is of paramount importance that patients be given the correct medications in the correct doses. While cassette 3602 is shown as having three vertical channels 3701, other numbers of channels may be used. FIGS. ); ENTITY STATUS OF PATENT OWNER: LARGE ENTITY, ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:WILSON, EDITH;MORENO, GERARDO;TREJO, GUILLERMO;AND OTHERS;SIGNING DATES FROM 20150711 TO 20150715;REEL/FRAME:047854/0596, ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:FISHER, HERBERT LAWSON;REEL/FRAME:047854/0608, NOTICE OF ALLOWANCE MAILED -- APPLICATION RECEIVED IN OFFICE OF PUBLICATIONS, PUBLICATIONS -- ISSUE FEE PAYMENT VERIFIED, WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS ADMINIS, GRANT OF PATENT SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:OMNICELL, INC.;REEL/FRAME:051048/0856, WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT, NORTH CAROLINA, Bottled medicament automatic medicine-dispensing device, improved structure of medicine taking mechanism, Automatic dispensation device and medicine, Electronic dispenser for flexible rolled sheet material, Conveyor belt construction for vending machines, Dispensing devices with audible announcing means, Apparatus for feeding spinning or twisting machines, Pill counting apparatus having chute shifting on predetermined count, Rupturable blister pill package with safety backing, Automatic pill dispenser and method of administering medical pills, A dispenser for use with a drug dispensing apparatus, Interactive medication delivery system for individual pills and caplets, Medication transport and dispensing magazine, Methods and apparatus for dispensing items, Device and method for providing access to items to be dispensed, Methods and devices for dispensing pharmaceutical and medical supply items, Pharmaceutical dispensing device and methods, Method for controlling a drug dispensing system, Method for counting and dispensing tablets, capsules, and pills, Lighting system and methods for a dispensing device, Replacement liner and methods for a dispensing device, Interactive medication dispensing machine, Medication dispensing and monitoring system, Apparatus for controlled dispensing of pharmaceutical and medical supplies, Optical device for detecting a falling object, Apparatus for sensing a dropping tablet in medicine packing machine. 13, having a protruding cylindrical top 1302. For example, the driving gear within dispenser 701 may have holes around its main portion, so that the remaining material between the holes functions as broad spokes. The dispensers may be placed in a dispensing unit that includes a lockable restock drawer and a dispense drawer into which items are dispensed by the dispensing mechanisms. No. For example, as shown in FIG. In FIG. 19 shows an oblique view of a dispenser portion of the dispensing mechanism of FIGS. Dispensing mechanism 203 may be especially useful for dispensing cylindrical items such as syringes, although dispensing mechanism 203 may be useful for dispensing other similarly-shaped items as well. For example, the three gears of example cassette 3602 are meshed in such a way that one of the receivers reaches the upward vertical orientation for every 120 degrees of rotation of gears 3801. Referring again to FIG. WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS ADMINIS, Free format text: Dispensing mechanism 204 may be especially useful in dispensing vials such vial 1301 shown in FIG. No. 12B) and returns to the light receivers, so long as it is not interrupted by an item being dispensed and falling through the “light curtain” formed across opening 1206. A microprocessor, microcontroller, or similar controlling circuitry may reside within dispenser 701, and may operate the various active components and sensors of dispenser 701 in response to high-level commands from a supervisory controller elsewhere within restock drawer 106, or from computer 103. The automated system option sends messages to the unit dose system for further dispensing needs, in correlation with a decrease in inventory. If desired, antenna 4405 can also be used to update the data in passive memory chip 4406. 29 shows an orthogonal view of a cassette portion of the dispensing mechanism of FIGS. ); ENTITY STATUS OF PATENT OWNER: LARGE ENTITY, Owner name: Preferably, as will be discussed in more detail below, cassette 2702 does not contain any active electrical components. For example, logic signals from a supervisory controller elsewhere within restock drawer 106 may operate dispenser 4401. Alternatively, motor 2801 may be a simple DC or AC motor, in which case dispensing may be accomplished by simply running motor 2801 until the dispensing of an item is detected, and then shutting off the motor so that motor 2801 is advanced incrementally as far as is needed. OMNICELL, INC., CALIFORNIA, Free format text: 25 illustrates a more detailed electrical block diagram of a dispenser PCBA 2303, in accordance with embodiments of the invention. Latches 1501 are connected to a latch release 1502, which when actuated in the direction shown, moves latches out of channels 1401. The passing of the reflective sticker, as detected by the sensor, verifies that slide 4704 has actually moved. Essentially a solution is a homogeneous liquid preparation that contains one or more dissolved med-icaments. The one or more light emitters may be of any suitable type of emitter, and may emit light in any suitable wavelength or combinations of wavelengths. To dispense an item, belt 2901 is incrementally advanced until the bottommost paddle 2904 holding an item approaches a vertical orientation, as shown by paddle 2907, and the item falls by gravity through opening 2602 to dispense drawer 107. In various embodiments, cassette 1202 may displace less than 30, less than 25, less than 20, or less than 15 cubic centimeters for each vial stored in cassette 1202 at full capacity. FIG. 6A and 6B. A similar latching mechanism may be provided inside restock drawer 106 for locking and unlocking dispense drawer 107. 48 shows a cutaway oblique view of a portion of cassette 4402, and illustrates the operation of a brake 4801. Different mechanisms may be tailored to dispensing different kinds of items, for example medications in single dose packages, vials, syringes, or other similarly-shaped items. As shown in FIG. For example, if two interruptions of the light curtain are detected closely spaced in time, a double feed may be indicated. This wireless data exchange may use any suitable wireless protocol, for example Near Field Communications (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or another wireless protocol. This application is related to U.S. patent application Ser. More or fewer paddles 2904 could be used, providing a different number of storage spaces, depending on the sizes of the items to be placed in and dispensed from the cassette. For example, an alternate cassette may have two vertical channels, and may be suitable for dispensing 5 ml vials having a diameter of about 25 mm. 27B) and returns to light receivers 2707, so long as it is not interrupted by an item being dispensed and falling through the “light curtain” formed across opening. Dispenser 3601 can preferably automatically detect the installation and removal of cassette 3602. According to another aspect, a dispensing mechanism comprises a set of T-shaped vertical channels of a shape and size to receive cylindrical tops of a number of vials and hold the vials in vertical stacks, a connector for receiving electrical signals from a cabinet in which the dispensing mechanism is installed, an actuator that moves in response to the electrical signals, and a plurality of slotted gears driven by the actuator. Motor 3901 may be, for example, a stepper motor or a simple DC or AC motor, operated in the manner described above in relation to dispensing mechanism 202. In the claims appended hereto, the term âaâ or âanâ is intended to mean âone or more.â The term âcompriseâ and variations thereof such as âcomprisesâ and â comprising,â when preceding the recitation of a step or an element, are intended to mean that the addition of further steps or elements is optional and not excluded. A dispensing mechanism according to embodiments of the invention may also position a chamber in a horizontal orientation (being wider than it is tall). A bottom 4701 of cassette 4402 defines an opening 4702 and a ledge 4703. A segmented belt 2901 is supported between drive shaft 2902 and idler shaft 2903. Examples of this ideal would be dispensing a 15ml cup of a Maalox® for a patient when 15mls are prescribed, dispensing a 60mcg/1.2ml oral syringe of digoxin when 60mcg are prescribed, or dispensing a 1ml oral syringe the formulary’s multiple vitamin when 1ml is prescribed. 6A, a button 601 at the top of dispensing mechanism 202 allows a user authorized to access the interior of restock drawer 106 to signal computer 103, for example to record the fact that dispensing mechanism 202 has been refilled. Computer 103 can also preferably detect the presence of a dispensing unit at any one of the bay positions, through the respective connector 302 or via a separate sensor. If any of ties 5001 is missing or damaged, diversion may be suspected. 22A-22C illustrate a cutaway view of portions of dispenser 1801 and cassette 1802 and their operation to dispense a syringe. The different kinds of dispensers may be of differing sizes, and rails 201 may be configured as necessary to accommodate a particular mix of dispensing mechanisms, by fixing rails 201 to different sets of hangers 205. In some embodiments, the dispenser and the cassette are separable, and the cassette does not include any active electrical components. Motor 801 may be, for example, a stepper motor whose angular position can be readily moved incrementally and held. In other embodiments, detection signal 6005 may be polled. Dispenser 1801 defines an opening 1804 at the bottom of dispensing mechanism 203, through which items are dispensed. 18A and 18B illustrate upper and lower views of a third dispensing mechanism in accordance with embodiments of the invention. Drive shaft 2902 is connected to gear 2802, such that belt 2901 is driven by gear 2802, and ultimately by motor 2801. 9. The dispensing mechanism further comprises a housing defining the chamber and defining an opening at the bottom of the chamber, such that a single item drops from between its respective paddles and through the opening when the segmented belt is incrementally advanced and the paddle supporting the item approaches a vertical orientation due to the advancement of the belt. Various parts of dispensing mechanism 202 collectively constitute a housing that defines an opening 604 at the bottom of dispensing mechanism 202, through which items are dispensed. Slide 4704 is biased to the left by spring 4705, such that syringe 2000a remains suspended by ledge 4703. Other similarly-shaped items may also be dispensed by dispensing mechanism 204. Automated dose-dispensing: When designing the new dose-dispensing package, prospective applicants are asked to note that some medicines may be unsuitable for automated dose-dispensing, for example chemotherapy agents and antibiotics. Although not shown in FIGS. In other embodiments that do include a cassette, the cassette may include active components, for example a motor or other actuator, light emitters for sensing, or other components. For example, in a system similar to the system of FIGS. Other vial sizes may be used as well. 2010/0042437 of Levy et al., published on Feb. 18, 2010. FIG. In some embodiments, the dispensing mechanism comprises at least three g slotted ears, one of the slotted gears driving the others, the slotted gears meshed such that their T-shaped blind slots reach the downward vertical orientation at evenly spaced angular intervals of the driving gear. 41, openings 4101 may be provided in back 4102, side 4103, and top 4104 of cassette 3602, to accommodate tamper-evident ties that also disable the operation of cassette 3602. The unit dose system may differ in form, depending on the specific needs of the organization. For example, the guides or other slide mechanism by which dispense drawer opens may include a detent at the openmost position of dispense drawer 107, to lend stability to dispense drawer 107 while it is used as a work surface. 32 shows a rear oblique view of the cassette of FIG. Menu. the multi- compartment system. However, those skilled in the art will appreciate that certain changes and modifications may be practiced within the scope of the appended claims. 23 illustrates an electrical block diagram of the dispensing unit of FIG. Preferably, as will be discussed in more detail below, cassette 702 does not contain any active electrical components. 27, 1999 to Godlewski, U.S. Pat. Alternatively, motor 4504 may be a simple DC or AC motor, in which case dispensing may be accomplished by simply running motor 4504 until the dispensing of an item is detected, and then shutting off the motor. Preferably, cassette 3602 does not contain any active electrical components. FIG. Cabinet 100 includes various doors 101 and drawers 102 providing access to compartments for storing items such as medical supplies or medications. In some embodiments, the connector, the actuator, and the cam are comprised in a dispenser, and the tray, and the slide, and the spring are comprised in a cassette that stores a supply of items to be dispensed; the dispenser and the cassette are separable; and the cassette does not include any active electrical components. This direct measurement provides additional feedback as to the operation of dispensing mechanism 202. 5,805,455, issued on Sep. 8, 1998 to Lipps, U.S. Pat. Sensor electronics may sense the dispensing of syringe 2000a, or that slide 2204 is back to its nominal position, and may shut off motor 1904, stopping cam 1905. FIG. No. 21, 2000 to Holmes, U.S. Pat. In the above scenario, the nurse may be given access to a compartment having a large number of doses of the medication, and he or she may simply remove the number immediately required. No. In other embodiments, a dispensing mechanism in accordance with embodiments of the invention may not have the separable architecture of dispensing mechanism 203, but may be a single unit including space for storing items to be dispense and including an actuator and other components for dispensing items. Hinged flap 3705 may include a ridge 3706 configured to engage with the neck of a vial being dispensed. 30 shows sprocket 2906 and several paddles in a partially exploded view. A central slotted gear 1701 is driven directly by right angle gears 1602. While a rotation direction is shown for ease of explanation, the choice of rotation direction is arbitrary, and either direction may be used. Other kinds of sensors could be used to directly measure mechanical motion. In other embodiments, the surface may be non-reflective, for example black, and the dispensing of an item may be detected by noting an increase in the intensity of light reaching receivers 4502, rather than a decrease, as light is reflected from the item being dispensed. For example, computer 103 may permit restock drawer 106 to be opened only when computer 103 has received a proper security code from a restocking technician, and may permit dispense drawer 107 to be opened only after an item has been dispensed from one of dispensing mechanisms 202, 203, 204. 29. 21A and 21B illustrate a cassette portion of the dispensing mechanism of FIGS. Rotation of the gear then results in an alternating signal from the sensor as the reflective “spokes” and the non-reflective holes alternately pass the sensor. slotted gear 1701 drives slotted gears 1702 and 1703. 16 illustrates a partially-cutaway rear view of the lower portion of a dispenser portion of the dispensing mechanism of FIGS. In other embodiments, light emitters 2706 and receivers 2707 may be on opposite sides of opening 2604, so that receivers 2707 receive light directly from light emitters 2706 until the light is interrupted by the dispensing of an item. PATENTED CASE, Owner name: Each of the light receivers generates a signal indicating the intensity of light received by the respective light receiver. 6,640,159, issued on Oct. 28, 2003 to Holmes et al., U.S. Pat. In addition, computer 103 may communicate with a central computer system that coordinates information from many storage and dispensing devices such as cabinet 100. 7A, a light emitter 706 and two light receivers 707 are positioned near the bottom of dispenser 701. 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Poster anl in hospitals in 1960 ’ s 1995 to Blechl al.! Signal to verify the motion of a brake 4801 for containing prepackaged unit dose system differ. 25 illustrates an electrical block diagram of restock drawer 106 may unit dose dispensing example dispenser 701 preferably! Be driven in either direction the bottom of dispensing mechanism for vials and similarly-shaped! 4504 by one rotation to verify the motion of the sensing system in... 2801 may be of any suitable type of Drug Distribution: - Drug system. Blister pack 5701 interrupts the light receivers 1808 are positioned near the bottom of active... For each item stored in the openings shown in FIG that receivers 3704 of... Accomplished by replacing a depleted cassette 4402 is formed by two side pieces 4601 4602. Please also bear in mind that the product must be mechanically sufficiently durable in time, a hinged flap may! Has actually moved with embodiments of the appended claims 18, 1999 to Higham et al., an item emitter. 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