Telemedicine Robot Provides Valley Patients Face-to-Face Interaction with Physicians in Real Time

Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center recently introduced a state-of-the-art telemedicine robot to provide Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients with greater access to their doctors.

This cutting-edge technology provides the opportunity for ICU physicians at St. Joseph’s Westgate to complete consultation rounds twice a day from anywhere at any time. While this allows for greater flexibility for patients and families to interact with the doctors, the robotic rounds do not take the place of in-person physician visits.   

“Doctors are able to beam in from their smartphones, desktop computers, and tablets to actually see the patients and families, and have meaningful, face-to-face conversations with them regardless of their physical location,” explains Tina Brucato-Day, hospital administrator at St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center.

The robot can travel anywhere throughout the hospital and thus gives patients the convenience of immediate access to the doctors. It is even equipped with a stethoscope, so that physicians can listen remotely to heart and lung sounds using earbuds. Sufficiently powerful and maneuverable, the camera allows doctors to view even the finest details during the patient exam.

“The patients and families seem excited about the new technology and tell us how great it is,” says Brucato-Day. “This robot proves that technological advancements do not have to sacrifice human interaction and humankindness.”

The center, located in Glendale, Ariz., is moving medicine into the digital age by providing patients and physicians with an immediate access solution for quick diagnosis and care plans.

—St. Joseph’s Westgate—

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