Children's Hospital Boston is sending some bedside manner home with its discharged patients via a pilot program that integrates telepresence robots into its regular post-op care regimen. Using five robots made by Vgo Communications Inc., doctors and nurses are opening a direct line of communication and observation between themselves and patients even as they recover at home.
The 4.5-foot robots go home with patients when they are discharged and are controlled by nurses and doctors back at the hospital. Equipped with audio sensors, articulating cameras, speakers, and a video screen for a face, the Vgo robots allow doctors and nurses to consult with patients and their parents and collect visual data that can help them adjust a post-op medication regimen or spot signs of an impending complication, all without requiring the patient to trek back to the hospital.
The $6,000 'bots are connected to the hospital over Verizon's 4G LTE network, so no wireless Internet is required. That means that sans a hardline Internet connection, the robots are capable of swapping not just voice or visual data, but data of any kind. Eventually, doctors at Children's Hospital hope the robots will be able to do even more with their patients, like perform some kinds of blood work or urine analysis and regularly beam the results back to the hospital, moving the normal observation phase of a medical procedure to the more comfortable environment of one's own home.
That's the next step. Right now, Children's Hospital is working to complete a 40-patient in-home trial of the robots to see how effective they can be. If it works, the hospital may increase its fleet of telepresence 'bots and start sending patients home early, replacing routine post-op observation with a friendly robot companion.
See Vgo go below.
52 Million Americans are now without healthcare because they can`t afford it. I hardly believe this will bring down costs. Especially as these home robots get more and more technical. They should use an ordinary webcam (on laptop of smartphone) to save costs. So many American children and adults without healthcare should be of epic and primary concern. Costs must come down.
true, the costs need to come down, have you seen a hospital bill lately? anything that gets a patient home sooner would save on costs, the worst place to be is in a hospital, bad infections are the first thing that comes to mind, robots rule, cheers
Yes Robots rule and hospitals, doctors and the billing system is way down my list of choice. Now a days, it has become a necessary evil and that is sad.
Science sees no further than what it can sense.
Religion sees beyond the senses.
Robot, the billing system and waiting are what I dread. Last time I was in a hospital, we were there 8 hours before a doctor really came to visit. Every nurse that came in acted like we just got there and 13 hours later when a gynecologist finally saw my wife she asked if we just got there and I replied "we've been here 13 hours." An idea like this is awesome. Imagine these connected to artificial intelligence in the future.
Science always asks "can we," but doesn't seem to ask "should we."