From medicines to health-tech

After more than 10 years of activity, Lug has established itself as a leading company in the development of traceability solutions forthe healthcare sector.  To learn more about the world of healthcare technology, we  interview Ed Morata, CEO and President of Lug Healthcare Technology. Ed has developed his professional career in corporate and investment banking internationally, with Brazil, Hong Kongand more recently the USA some of his destinations.  Achieving noticeable improvements in operating and financial results over the years are the legacy of his management capabilities. 

Ed Morata

Tell us, what is Lug Healthcare Technology?

We are a company specialized in the management of compounded drugs in hospital pharmacy processes, being the application for cytostatics (drugs for cancer treatment) one of our most recognized contributions. Our solution guarantees safety and traceability throughout the process, from prescription to administration of the drug, including the preparation of them at the pharmacy lab. As a natural development of this creative process, we provide an innovative platform for clinical trials management, a core activity in the development process of new medical treatments. 

Furthermore, we have developed a robot to dispense drugs in unitary doses within the hospital environment (called Lug Dispense), a fully automated and integral traceabilitysolution. 

What are main products and solutions you offer?

Over the past few years, we have developed a portfolio of products with six solutions:

  • Lug Trace: Full control of the entire process of preparation and administration of compounded drugs.
  • Lug Script: Electronic prescription system directly filled in by physicians. 
  • Lug Trials: Full clinical trial traceability management.
  • Lug Kids: Platform for full control and monitoring of pediatric cancer treatments. 
  • Lug atHome: Pediatric cancer production system whole platform.
  • Lug Dispense: Automatic drug dispensing robot using unit doses.

The features present at Lug Kids and Lug Dispense are the most innovative of all those offered by Lug, being at the forefront of their respective fields. 

How did you measure the benefits provided by your products?

We have received several awards, starting with the award by the SEFH (Sociedad Española de FarmaciaHospitalaria-Spanish Society of Hospital Pharmacy) for the most innovative monitoring system in preparation and administration of high riskmedicines.

In addition, GrupoTeknonhas awardedus with the best administration control system for oncologic patient’s award, while the Medical Journal gave us an award for the best technology and solution applyingto one of the biggest hospital issues.

These different acknowledgements of the quality of our products have over time served as  important indicators that our efforts focusedon better quality in health services delivery are  coming to fruition.

What are basic features of Lug systems?

Our main concern has always been to guarantee patient safety throughout their treatments. This concept has become one of our differentiating features. You will wonder how do we do it, and the answer is straightforward: we have managed to establish a robust monitoring and control protocol of the therapeutic process to we assure the consistency between the prescription and the treatment administered to the patient. We offer an active traceability including real time errors warning and a passive traceability that effectivelyenforces security measures provided by third parties and by the reports.

Who are current customers?

What is your strategy and plan for international expansion?

Internationalization, mainly to the USA, will be the key driver of the company’s growth, firstdue to the size of the market (US healthcare expenditure amounts to 21 times  the Spanish  one) and secondly, due to the consumption of technological solutions products such as marketed by Lug.

The United Kingdom also represents an interesting opportunity due to its similarities to the Spanish market.

Of course, we do not leave behind the Spanish market. We have crafted a plan for the growth of our current client portfolio(as it has been the “lead market” before internationalization), which will involve both the acquisition of new customers, increased use of the current platforms andhigher penetration of new products being launched in the near future, thus strengthen our leadership in the peninsular market. 

What are the most relevant achievements to date?

The increased usage of our systems has been stellar, having more than doubled in the past two years, what makes us prod as we know that it implies a safer delivery of treatments. 

As well as Lug Script has had an important growth, which indicates that we have been able to address another challenge of the healthcare sector. 

Do you collaborate with other companies?

Absolutely. Right now we are developing a solution of HDMA with one of the leading global pharmaceutical companies, and we have an ongoing collaboration with another pharmaceutical company for joint development of the market. 

Explain us what an HDMA solution is

It is a system that manages the delivery of drugs being made directly to the patient’s home, enabling managing the effective compliance with the prescription through an APP, as well as enabling the pharmacist to remotely monitor the delivery and adherence to schedules at all times.

What can you tell us about Lug Dispense? (Unidosis)

Lug Dispensehas been designed to offer a robotic solution to the challenge of decentralized drug management in unitary dose format within the hospital environment, providing thehighestpossible security to whole process, from the admission of acquired and preprocessed unitary doses to the inventory, its intelligent storage with traceability guarantee, and continuing until its safe and error-free administration to patients.

How do you get that?

Mainly by respecting some key principles, such as:

  • Minimize human intervention in the process. 
  • Increase control and traceability of drugs in their process within the hospital.
  • Achieve single-dose traceability throughout the process.
  • Guarantee correct dispensing and administration of drugs to the patients.
  • Minimize uncontrolled drug losses in a hospital environment.
  • Guarantee adaptability to support work in the different areas of the hospital where control of single-dose drugs is required.

To sum up, how do you see the future of Lug?

We are very excited about the opportunities that are ahead of us, both at anEuropeanand global markets perspectives.

Patient safety and digital medicineinnovative solutions puts us in a very enviable situation that we intend to continue to make the most out of them.