Health care robot brings experts to bedside

The RP-Vita robot allows patients to been seen by experts from afar

A health care robot developed by iRobot and InTouch Health allows doctors who may be thousands of miles away to interact with patients at their bedsides.

Called RP-VITA, the robot stands 1.7 meters high and rolls around hospitals controlled by an iPad. The robot was designed to bring world class doctors and specialists to patients who wouldn't otherwise have access to them.

See RP-VITA in action in a video on YouTube.

"Imagine you had a stroke," said iRobot CEO Colin Angle speaking at the company's headquarters in Massachusetts. "Would you rather be seen by the world expert in strokes...or by the guy down the hall? RP-VITA is about allowing people to see specialists and have access to more sophisticated treatments, which leads to better outcomes."

iRobot developed the robotics for the robot; how it moves, its ability to sense its surroundings and not bump into anything. Before it can roam around on its own, a blueprint of its working area is uploaded to RP-VITA. That allows it to be sent to certain waypoints throughout a hospital without having to be manually driven by a doctor. If a doctor or specialist wants to drive the robot they can, but the robot won't allow itself to hit any obstacles.

Doctors can converse with patients and hospital staff and can be seen on a large LCD screen at the top of the robot. For private conversations, a telephone can be pulled out of the bot for patients to speak with doctors one-on-one.

Doctors also have access to patients' vital signs and the results of tests, scans and labs through the iPad interface.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the robot in active patient settings in January. The robot costs about $4,000 a month to lease.

Nick Barber covers general technology news in both text and video for IDG News Service. E-mail him at Nick_Barber@idg.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickjb.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags industry verticalshealth careroboticsiRobotInTouch Health

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nick Barber

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?