Hospital Robots get financial Boost
The maker of the hospital 'remote presence' robot, RP-6, has gotten a $12.1 million financing deal from investors.
InTouch Health is a privately held company led by chairman and CEO Yulan Wang.
Evidently the investors see a bright future for this television on wheels. I do not. I see it as a fad type of product. Why have a rolling robot when every hospital room already has a television? It would be a simple and faily low cost (by hospital measure) solution to put cameras at every bed. The doctor culd be present whenever he wanted instead of waiting for this silly robot to lumber from room to room.
I think patients may object too, not because of the cold robot visiting them, but when they get the bill and realize that they are getting billed for a doctor consultation when they only got to talk to a tv likeness of a distracted doctor sitting in his office downtown somewhere.
We repeatedly see robots replacing the dangerous, menial, repetitive jobs. Does a doctor visiting his patients fall into this ob category? Maybe so.
As the InTouch Healthcare page says, demographics may drive the need for these doctor substitutes:
There is a demographic crisis in healthcare. Over the next 10 years the number of elderly age 85 and over will grow 38% doubling the number of seniors requiring healthcare support. Already today there are over 400,000 unfilled nursing positions causing hospitals across the country to close wings or risk negative outcomes. Over the coming years, the declining ratio of working age adults to elderly will further exacerbate the shortage. In 1950 there were 8 adults available to support each elder 65+, today the ratio is 5:1 and by 2020 the ratio will drop to 3 working age adults per elder person. Technology solutions which dramatically increase the effectiveness of healthcare professionals are required.
Labels: healthcare robot