This ‘Robodoc’ has a human face

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How do you treat patients safely while they are in isolation – and let them see family members? Step forward ‘Robodoc’!

Greenslopes Private Hospital’s newest member of staff is a telepresence robot that allows doctors to be at bedside while maintaining strict infection control measures.

Known as Temi, it can steer around a ward or emergency department autonomously. It not only keeps staff and visitors safe when patients are in isolation but also helps limit the use of personal protective equipment. 

“Family members and healthcare workers can see and talk to a patient without being in the room,” the Brisbane hospital’s Emergency Centre director Dr Mark Baldwin said. 

“Temi can move around the wards and follow a patient without any other person being present.” 

Dr Baldwin said there was something more “human” about a patient being able to see their doctor’s face on the robot’s monitor. 

“Temi’s head is at the height of a patient in bed or seated in a chair. The head is in fact a small television monitor which has a live feed of the doctor or staff member who wants to speak with the patient. 

“There is a little tray behind the monitor which can carry items like medical equipment, medications or even sanitiser and masks,” he added. 

Greenslopes, part of the Ramsay Health Care group, bought Temi from a Melbourne company specialising in social service and telepresence robots. 

“Temi is a great addition to the staff,” the hospital’s CEO Chris Went said. 

“Of course, nothing can replace hands-on care and that is what we provide the majority of the time. 

“However, when a patient is in isolation, Temi is a safe way for health staff to continue monitoring them and for family and friends to catch up in a more personalised way than over the phone.” 

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