A few weeks ago we reported that Italian health care workers have enlisted the help of a robot named Tommy to assist in monitoring patients infected with the coronavirus.
It seems as though this idea has inspired doctors at Tygerberg hospital in the Western Cape to enlist their very own robot, named Quintin, to perform a similar task.
Quintin’s main purpose is to help the medical staff remotely perform ‘virtual ward rounds’ on patients infected with the COVID-19 virus.
The odds of a single doctor falling victim to the virus is extremely high, and the possibility of that doctor infecting his or her colleagues is even higher. That is why it is so important for health care workers to avoid direct contact with infected patients where possible. That is where Quintin the robot comes into play.
After seeing Quintin perform in a real world environment for the first time on 10 April, both Koegelenberg and his wife were left impressed. – “It was truly an eye-opener and a potential game-changer in this and future similar pandemics. It was a remarkable success! We both concluded (with more than 30 years of combined experience in ICU) that our physical presence was not required, and that the technology has great potential to be rolled out,” he added.
Robot Quintin to the rescue at Tygerberg Hospital for ICU rounds – https://t.co/mF10VUx5xn
— #biznews (@stuartlowman) April 15, 2020
Speaking to IOL, Coenie Koegelenberg, who is a professor in pulmonology at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) said -“Between the specialists, we will share the workload of Covid-19 patients who end up in ICU. The odds of at least one or all of us falling ill are quite high, so we need to realistically plan for what could happen,
If any of the specialists get the virus and is unable to physically go to work, we will be able to function remotely using the robot, from a phone or a laptop.”
Communication between the patient and doctor is enabled through the use of a zoom function and microphone, which can relay vital signs of patients who are highly infectious.
Take a look at Quintin in action below.
Image: Twitter/ @CapeTownetc