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Mercy Telehealth Network Unveils Self-Driving Telemedicine Robots

As part of continuing media coverage of Dignity Health’s new state-of-the-art wireless remote, tablet controlled, self-driving telemedicine robots in the intensive care units of Mercy General Hospital, Mercy San Juan Medical Center, Mercy Hospital of Folsom and soon at Mark Twain Medical Center, KFBK 1530 AM Reporter Mike Simpson interviewed Dr. Asad Chaudhary, stroke specialist with the Mercy Telehealth Network about how the technology is used on patients.

The robot, called the RP-VITA™, was developed in partnership with InTouch Health, a leader in acute care remote presence telemedicine; and iRobot, a leader in delivering robotic technology-based solutions and the company that created the Roomba vacuum cleaner.

The five foot tall cylinder-shaped device has a flat-screen computer monitor “face” on which patients and family members can see and interact with the physician in real time. A zoom-lens camera and microphone on top of the screen enables the physicians to see and hear patients during examinations, communicate with family, communicate with nursing and review vital signs in the patient care environment. The RP-VITA is controlled by a physician using an iPad, enabling quick and easy navigation to anywhere it needs to go even in a busy ICU. The RP-VITA is equipped with an autonomous robotic navigation system that provides the robot with the ability to “see” people and objects and avoid bumping into them, as well as the ability to create a digital map of the care environment.

The story was aired during the afternoon drive time on KFBK 1530 AM.

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