Robots are taking over the world. Robo-nurses have been around for a while, but in the quest to make healthcare more efficient, another medical robot could soon be coming to a hospital near you.
The FDA has just cleared RP-VITA, a telemedicine robot that can navigate autonomously, for hospital use. The doc-bot allows a doctor to consult with patients and hospital staff remotely through an iPad interface.
Built by InTouch Health and iRobot (creator of everyone’s favorite robot vacuum, the Roomba), RP-VITA can move independently around a busy ICU without bumping into other people or objects. It can be directed by tapping hospital locations on an iPad, and features electronic health record integration. It also has data ports to connect digital stethoscopes, ultrasounds and otoscopes, Fast Company reports.
The FDA has given RP-VITA clearance to work in hospitals, so it’s now approved to monitor patients before, after and during surgery and during various types of examinations and assessments.
Welcome to the future, where your doctor can Skype into your surgery. Let’s hope he’s wearing pants.