Robots in ICU
I'm writing a couple of articles on the use of robots in healthcare and yesterday I spoke to a UK researcher in the field who is researching In Touch Health's RP7 robot. RP stands for remote presence.
The RP7 resembles a monitor and camera on a large vacuum cleaner base and is navigated remotely at a console by using a joystick. It's like telemedicine on castors.
The robot is already deployed in the Accident and Emergency Department and on one of the Surgical wards of the researcher's hospital. One of the areas he thinks is very suitable for robot use is Intensive Care wards.
At first this seemed odd to me because patients on these wards are normally under constant supervision anyway and often unconscious or too ill to talk.
However, many IC wards outside of large hospitals in the UK are managed by Anaethetists who sometimes need a second opinion from a specialist Intensivist. Such opinions could often be more easily given remotely using a remote presence-type robot.
Here is a US article that describes the use of RP robots in ICU. The best written section is at the end of the page: Robots In the ICU.
This PDF sent to me by In Touch Health is a more detailed description of the same application of RP robots written by Paul Vespa.
Picture of the RP6 in action by kind permission of In Touch Health.