At Children’s Hospital in Boston, doctors are now in the midst of a pilot project in which patients take robots home with them after their stay, for help with post-operative consultations and care.
We’ve already seen robots serve as “personal avatars” for employees working away from the office, but recently we came across what is potentially an even more exciting application. At Children’s Hospital in Boston, doctors are now in the midst of a pilot project in which patients take robots home with them after their stay, for help with post-operative consultations and care. Created by VGo Communications, the 4-foot-6, 17-pound, two wheel robots function primarily as a means of videoconferencing, giving the families of hospital patients a way to keep in touch with doctors and nurses in between post-surgical appointments. Equipped with cameras, audio gear and a video screen for a “face,” the five VGo robots are operated remotely by Children’s Hospital staff. In addition to facilitating communication, they can take video and close-up photos of surgical scars or other key areas of interest to help medical staff monitor recovery. The video below shows a VGo robot in action in a variety of settings: Eight Children’s patients have participated in the pilot project so far, according to a report on Boston.com, and the hospital hopes to bring that number up to about 40 before rolling out the USD 6,000 robotic assistants more widely. Healthcare entrepreneurs: be inspired! Spotted by: Smith Alan