July 22, 2024

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Patients like robots for care delivery, MIT and BWH researchers find

(Photograph via Giovanni Traverso, YouTube)

A study published this 7 days in the Journal of the American Healthcare Association Community Open up uncovered that most members considered that making use of a robotic process for facilitating healthcare tasks is suitable.  

Researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital first executed an on the net survey of close to 1,000 people asking about the acceptability of robots in healthcare.  

Future, they tested one particular of their robots – a doglike robot made by Boston Dynamics – in the crisis division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital previous spring.  

“We’re actively doing the job on robots that can assistance provide care to improve the basic safety of both of those the client and the healthcare workforce,” said MIT assistant professor Giovanni Traverso, who was the senior creator of the study, in a statement.   

“The success of this study give us some confidence that people are completely ready and ready to engage with us on individuals fronts,” he said.

WHY IT Matters  

Automating tasks can develop into even far more important at a time when actual physical distancing for basic safety explanations is nevertheless prioritized.  

After the COVID-19 pandemic began previous yr, the analysis workforce worked with Boston Dynamics to produce a cell robot that could interact with sufferers as they waited in the ED. The robots’ sensors could measure critical indications these as skin temperature, breathing price, pulse price and blood oxygen saturation, as perfectly as carry an iPad that allowed for distant video interaction with a company.

However, defined the scientists, they preferred to guarantee sufferers would be open to interacting with the robots.  

“Typically as engineers, we think about unique remedies, but sometimes they may well not be adopted mainly because people are not entirely accepting of them,” said Traverso. 

“In this study we ended up striving to tease that out and comprehend if the inhabitants is receptive to a remedy like this one particular,” he included.

The on the net survey uncovered that the bulk of members considered a robotic process would be useful for a wide range of healthcare tasks, including facilitating telehealth interviews, acquiring critical indications and turning a client in bed. Nearly 50 percent of the members said it would be useful for acquiring nasal or oral swabs, and about forty% said it would be useful for positioning an intravenous catheter or for undertaking phlebotomy.  

When scientists applied one particular of their robots – nicknamed “Dr. Spot” – in the crisis division to interview forty one sufferers about their symptoms via video relationship, far more than ninety% of members documented that they ended up glad with the process.  

“Reducing human speak to with persons who have COVID-19 but are or else healthier may well reduce the chance of in-clinic disease transmission and empower wellness care industry experts at higher chance of an infection to safely interact with sufferers by way of teletriage,” wrote scientists in the study.  

THE Bigger Craze  

Healthcare robots have been generating growing appearances in wellness techniques around the globe, with a Bahrain COVID-19 isolation device deploying a demo system for a few healthcare robots in May well previous yr.  

“These equipment will provide far more defense to healthcare staff and reduce the transmission of disease, as perfectly as defend sanitation employees from continuous exposure to substances,” defined Dr. Jameela Al Salman, an infectious and inner disorders guide at the Salmaniya Healthcare Complicated, at the time.   

And in Singapore, clinicians made “SwabBot,” which allows persons being swabbed to activate and terminate the swabbing approach at will.  

ON THE History  

“By making use of contactless techniques to carry out triage among the persons with lower acuity, clinicians in the ED may well be in a position to conserve assets by eradicating actual physical speak to with these sufferers,” mentioned the scientists in the study.  

“In the context of regional boosts in COVID-19, these incremental evaluations, which can be safely accomplished without the have to have for individual protective machines, may well assistance to increase the stock of critical supplies in periods of lack or offer chain disruption,” they included.


Kat Jercich is senior editor of Health care IT News.
Twitter: @kjercich
Email: [email protected]
Health care IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.