'TriageBots' for EDs (A&E)

ed with robotsEd. Donna can’t let Ed. Steve have all the fun with robots. In that magic year 2015, ‘triagebots’ and humanoid robot medical assistants may help to speed ER (emergency department, ED, A&E in the UK) waits for the 60% of patients who are not suffering life-threatening conditions. The paper, presented by Mitch Wilkes of Vanderbilt University at the Humanoids 2010 conference in Nashville TN, describes an ER that would feature: electronic kiosks to gather basic data at the registration desk, a ‘triage nurse’ in the guise of smart chairs taking measurements, mobile robot assistants in the waiting room and a supervisor robot (promoted from the former?) As long as they’re sort of cute like Romeo and NAO. FierceHealthcare. The paper (PDF download).

[2015? And Professor Wilkes has students working on the triage kiosk? Looks like he does not read Telecare Aware, otherwise he would know that such a system is already in use (in GP surgeries – doctors’ offices – in the UK. See Surgery Pod and Check In Pod on the Telehealth Solutions website. Ed Steve]

[The ‘pods’ are designed for use in GP’s offices but certainly would provide a base to adapt in the ED. In the US there is a system similar to Check In Pod–the Phreesia check in ‘pad’ for doctors’ offices–that at this point does not take current symptom information but takes input on patient information, insurance verification and clinical history. (An interesting development we’d like to know more about for our readers, but the company CEO doesn’t respond to inquiries.) Are there others out there we should be aware of? The paper’s emphasis is less on the kiosks and more on the robot assistants interacting with patients. Ed. Donna]