Robots to Aid in Trauma Situations - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/13/08

Robots to Aid in Trauma Situations

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Like a scene from a futuristic movie, hospital patients may soon see robots maneuvering through the halls offering medical help.  Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami recently unveiled a new wave of healthcare professionals of tomorrow. 

In a trauma situation, your doctor would not even have to be in the operating room.  The doctor's presence would still be available through the RP-7 robot, which is used for trauma care.  Dr. Jeffrey Augensteind of Ryder Trauma, says, "What this allows you to do is roll up to a patient and have somebody anywhere in the world be able to look at the patient and participate in care decisions.  One of the things we are working on is trying to make that work in the military so that if somebody needs help in an Iraqi Army hospital, that it can be provided".

The doctor just needs a laptop, specially equipped with a joystick to control the robot, and a wireless card for enhanced broadband connectivity.  Simply put, the technology allows the doctor to be in two places at once.  For the past year, the robot has been in training at Ryder Trauma Center.  Similar technology is being used across the country, but what makes this robot so special is the broadband capability.  A physician will always be close-by but the robot allows a second opinion to be in a remote location.  The robot is still in the testing phase, but in the near future don't be surprised if the extra doctor in the room is a robot.

 

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