Robots, patients’ little helpers

Beginning in October 2015, nurses and doctors gained new assistants for providing minor healthcare services to patients at Humber River Hospital in Toronto (Canada). There, robots are also wearing scrubs. Recording patient information, dispensing medication, delivering meals and performing blood tests: all sorts of tasks are being automated. The goal is to make life easier for healthcare workers, not to replace them. All these tasks are being carried out as part of a man-machine partnership.
It begins with maintenance. To deliver meals, medication or equipment to the rooms in the hospital, with its 13 floors and surface area of 160,000 square metres, the mobile Swisslog robots can push carts, take the lift, deliver orders and then return to their charging stations. All without any human intervention. The pharmacist is a robot arm that can prepare medications according to prescriptions and dosages entered into a computer by the staff. Stäubli is a conscientious professional who is also responsible for checking for patient allergies and treatment contraindications. One of its mechanical “selves” is in charge of working with the toxic chemicals that are used for chemotherapy. This helps prevent accidents.
The pharmacist is a robot arm that can prepare medications according to prescriptions and dosages entered into a computer by the staff.
In addition to added safety, having robots in the hospital provides greater comfort to patients. In the radiology unit, laser guiding, silent MRIs and 4D snapshots get images from every angle without forcing patients to contort themselves into awkward poses.
Meanwhile, the presence of robots in patients’ rooms does not mean there is no human contact. Quite the reverse, actually. The use of digital tablets makes it possible for each patient to not only consult their medical history, but also remain in contact with their loved ones or staff members.

To go further
In the future, will operations be carried in our living rooms with no human intervention?2016 EDF Pulse AwardsDiscover the projects competiting in the E-Health category

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