FDA Approves Autonomous Robots for Hospitals
By: Eric Hamblett
The first human-interacting autonomous robot has been approved by the FDA for use in hospitals. It is made by iRobot, the same company that created the Roomba, and has potential to change the face of healthcare (pun intended). The human sized machine is named RP-VITA and will function as a resource for doctors to remotely interact with patients. With this “telepresence,” doctors can interact with a number of patients through an iPad application, without having to physically troll halls and corridors.
The VITA is packed with state of the art features and powered by high resolution cameras that transmit doctor and patient faces. It integrates digital medical records and can connect to stethoscopes, otoscopes and ultrasounds. This all works to create the highest quality consultation, improving efficiency and decreasing cost.
Even though the robotic technology will optimize hospital experiences, it will be important for patients to understand its usefulness. Critics worry about technology replacing human jobs, and though this appears to be a step in that direction, the VITA is there to help. With live digital records and collaborative consultations, it will be interesting to track what new discoveries are made.