Doctors enlist robots in the fight against COVID-19

Date:2 April 2020 Author: Kyro Mitchell Tags:, , ,

Imagine living in a world where your nurse is able to work around the clock without the need for a coffee break, and over-pay compensation. This idea, which sounds like something straight of a sci-fi movie is now a reality thanks to a robot named Tommy.

Tommy is one of six new ‘helper-robots’ assisting real life doctors and nurses in the fight against COVID-19 at the Circolo Hospital in Varese, Italy.

The child-sized robots are wheeled into a patient’s room and left near their bedside to monitor parameters from equipment in the room, those readings are then wirelessly sent back to hospital staff. This means doctors and nurses don’t have to waste valuable time analysing data from the different pieces of hospital equipment and have more time to look after others who are in more serious condition. Tommy also features large touch-screen face that allows patients to record messages and send them directly to doctors and nurses.

Possibly the most important feature that Tommy and his robot siblings bring to hospitals is the fact that it limits the amount of contact between healthy doctors and sick patients, reducing the risk of infection among the people tasked with fighting this pandemic.

As of 1 April, over 4000 Italian health care workers have contracted COVID-19, and over 60 of them of died as a result of the virus.

While ‘speaking’ to a reporter visiting Circolo Hospital, Tommy had this to say, “Using my abilities, medical staff can be in touch with the patients without direct contact.”

Image: Twitter/@GregPainter1

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