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Electronics & Test

Robot Provides Virtual Medical Care

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jdf929340j
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Iron
flyers
jdf929340j   6/1/2014 2:09:31 AM
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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Just in time for an aging baby boomer generation
Ann R. Thryft   8/23/2012 3:16:07 PM
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Several robots for providing at-home medical care are in the works, based on a somewhat similar design platform as this one. That platform is iRobot's Ava mobile robot design: http://www.irobot.com/ava/

Jack Rupert, PE
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Platinum
Re: Just in time for an aging baby boomer generation
Jack Rupert, PE   8/22/2012 2:46:19 PM
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They put a similar thing into one of the area ICU's (I think) in the Milwaukee area.  While it wasn't anywhere close to being as advanced as the system described here, I thought it was a good start.  The primary advantage is that the more experienced doctor could keep an eye on patients in other locations rather than having to transfer everybody to the "mother ship".

robatnorcross
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Gold
Re: Just in time for an aging baby boomer generation
robatnorcross   8/21/2012 4:19:01 PM
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Sorry Beth,

I was refering to the Roomba "robots" that clean/vacuum (not sure which) your floors by wandering around the house when they feel like it. My Vietnamese friends named theirs Stanley. Stanley has ALOT of free time when he/she/it is not cleaning and if you could teach him/her/it to do other things like "go get me a beer Stanley" he would be much more productive in terms of usefull work per day.

With a software upgrade Stanley could remember to provide your medicine when you were sick or bring you the thermometer if you had a fever. The sky's the limit.

Stanley currently doesn't speak or recognize voice commands but could be equipped with an automatic weapon in case your house is burglarized.

Beth Stackpole
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Blogger
Re: Just in time for an aging baby boomer generation
Beth Stackpole   8/21/2012 7:27:23 AM
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@Robatnorcross: You're going to have to explain what you mean by the house cleaning comments. Is that because we're talking about a robot?

The reality is, the days of doctors doing house calls are far in the past. I'm 50 and my dad was a doctor in a semi-rural town and I can tell you that was never part of the lexicon even back then, whether for good or bad. Unfortunately, it's just not realistic in today's society. That said, I guess I'm for any kind of video/robotics/information technology that can streamline the process just a little bit for routine tasks and consultations, freeing up the docs so they can spend quality time with patients whose cases are more acute.

Scott Orlosky
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Platinum
Where's the Human Touch?
Scott Orlosky   8/20/2012 11:19:06 PM
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Ok - I'm fine with technology and think robots are cool - but so much of good medicine is about the ability to "read" a patient and establish trust as a physician.  When the face on the screen says "take your medicine" it's just another commercial.  Doctors should be walking the halls, popping in on patients and sharing chance encounters with nurses who can give the Dr. a quick 30 second update on the patient in 203.  Human interaction is healing, too.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Just in time for an aging baby boomer generation
Rob Spiegel   8/20/2012 8:39:12 PM
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I remember our family doctor visiting our home when one of us kids was sick. Talk about bedside manner. But I like this robot idea. This has got to be more efficient than our current system. At a time of ever escalating medical costs, it's nice to see some efficiency introduced.

robatnorcross
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Gold
Re: Just in time for an aging baby boomer generation
robatnorcross   8/20/2012 5:16:46 PM
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Poor Beth. She's been indoctrinated in Obama care already. I remember old doctors that visited your house when you were sick but wouldn't clean it for  you.

I thought that medical care was going to be like a visit to the post office or DMV. Instead now the "doctor" can vacuum your floor when you're not sick.

mrdon
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Gold
Re: Just in time for an aging baby boomer generation
mrdon   8/20/2012 11:15:21 AM
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Beth, You bring up a good point regarding doctor-patience relationship and beside manner. Today's doctors in residence are being scrutinized for their beside manner. Being impersonal with a patient makes it difficult to address their medical needs. Not quite sure how telespresence technology will address this since the doctor will not physically be in the room with the patient. Body lanaguage plays an important role in treating patience. 

Beth Stackpole
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Blogger
Re: Just in time for an aging baby boomer generation
Beth Stackpole   8/20/2012 9:55:19 AM
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Actually, Elizabeth has to take credit for this one, Mrdon, but I agree it was a real interesting post.

I like Chuck's parallel to the trend of Physician Assistants doing more of the early interviewing and upfront examination work. I am seeing that with the doctors we see as a family. Although from a personal standpoint, I can't help but think I'd feel the doctor was somewhat detached if I wasn't interacting with them directly and doing so via remote telepresence technology. Maybe not for a routine examination, but certainly for something with more serious ramifications.

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