UCLA Introduced Remote Presence Robots -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Intensivists in the neurosurgery department at UCLA are using RP-6 to provide additional monitoring from their homes and offices of ICU patients in response to studies showing that intensivist presence in the ICU can decrease morbidity, mortality, length of stay and cost of care.

UCLA will test the RP-6 robot as a way to extend the reach of the intensivist. The patient sees, hears and interacts with the doctor through the nearly 5-foot-6-inch tall robot, which displays a live video image of the physician's face on its monitor/head.

The physician, seated at a computer console, also sees and hears the patient through a live video image projected on a monitor. The console comes equipped with a joystick, which allows the physician to drive the robot to the patient's bedside, control movements of the robot's head and even zoom in to take a closer look at the patient or bedside monitors.

"The RP-6 robot will increase doctor access for patients, their families and hospital staff, and UCLA is excited to test the newest addition to our intensive care team," professor and Chief of Neurosurgery Dr. Neil Martin Martin said.

"We recognize that leveraging the health care expert's time offers the possibility of improved patient care, reduced length of stay and cost savings. UCLA has combined our in-house electronic medical information system, GCQ, with the RP-6 remote presence system, and we are able to monitor and access our patients anytime from our homes and offices in a way not previously possible," Martin added.

According to the researchers, patient and family reaction to the robot had been very positive.

MEDICA.de; Source: University of California - Los Angeles