- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
Question of the Day
Has it come to this? Robots standing in for doctors at the hospital patient’s bedside?
Not exactly, but some doctors have found a way to use a videoconferencing robot to check on patients while they’re miles from the hospital.
One is at Baltimore's Sinai Hospital. Outfitted with cameras, a screen and microphone, the joystick-controlled robot is guided into the rooms of Dr. Alex Gandsas‘ patients where he speaks to them as if he were right there.
“The system allows you to be anywhere in the hospital from anywhere in the world,” said the surgeon, who specializes in weight-loss surgery.
Besides his normal morning and afternoon in-person rounds, Dr. Gandsas uses the $150,000 robot to visit patients at night or when problems arise. The robot can circle the bed and adjust the position of its two cameras, giving “the perception from the patient’s standpoint that the doctor is there,” the surgeon said.
“They love it. They’d rather see me through the robot,” he said of his patients’ reaction to the machine.
Dr. Gandsas presented the idea to hospital administrators as a method to more closely monitor patients following weight-loss surgery. Dr. Gandsas, an unpaid member of an advisory board for the robot’s manufacturer who has stock options in the company, added that since its introduction, the length of stay is shorter for patients visited by the robot.
A chart-review study of 376 of the doctor’s patients found that the 92 patients who had additional robotic visits had shorter hospital stays. Dr. Gandsas‘ study appears in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
Nicknamed Bari for the bariatric surgery Dr. Gandsas practices, the RP-7 Remote Presence Robotic System by InTouch Technologies is one of a number of robotic devices finding their way into the medical world. Across town at Johns Hopkins, for example, a similar robot is used to teleconference with a translator for doctors who don’t speak their patient’s language. Robotic devices are also used to guide stroke patients through therapy and help them play rehabilitative video games.
Michael Chan, executive vice president with InTouch Technologies, said his company’s device allows physicians to “be in more than one place at once.”
Speaking with Dr. Gandsas through one of the robots at company headquarters in Santa Barbara, Calif., Mr. Chan said the company envisions the devices’ application in remote locations and for dealing with shortages of health care professionals. About 120 of the robots are used in hospitals worldwide.
Sinai patient David Williams said he appreciated the fact that Dr. Gandsas knew the details of his care.
“If you’re laying flat like this and you see his face, I don’t care what the man’s dressed in. You’re seeing him and you’re talking to him and he’s answering your questions,” said Mr. Williams, a retiree from Falling Waters, W.Va.
Nurse Florence Ford, who has worked with the robot since it was introduced 18 months ago, said patients have reacted well, particularly because “seeing the doctor’s face gives them confidence.”
By Michael P. Orsi
Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- KELLNER: It's not a Merry Christmas for the persecuted church
- PRUDEN: 'Tis the season for apologies
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- ORSI: No greater act of loyalty to the Constitution
- TRIPLETT: Shale revolution reality checks
- Obama sends 45 service members to South Sudan
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Paul Rondeau exposes the propaganda, media tricks, and government policies that undermine our families, faith, freedom…and even life itself
Implement these actionable tips, how-to’s and best practices in 10 minutes or less to leverage online communications and technology for brand, business and career development.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow