As the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic lingers, efforts are being made to limit the spread of the virus. Impressively, this robot is assisting medical professionals and relatives to maintain virtual contact with infected patients to prevent the risk of being infected.
It is sad to know that the deadly virus, COVID-19, has infected many healthcare workers on duty. So, any development to keep medical personnel safe is welcome.
In Tunisia, there is a hospital that is not leaving any stone unturned. It has deployed the first Tunisia-based robot to help limit contact between virus-infected patients and those caring for them.
The tall and single-limbed robot mounted on wheels does the routine checkup. It takes pulses and checks temperature, including blood oxygen levels.
The robot helps relatives to patients, including health workers (doctors and nurses), engage with infected patients without coming in close contact with them. Thus, relatives can make virtual bedside visits to their loved ones affected by the virus without being infected.
Nawel Besbes Chaouch, a medical doctor at Abderrahmane Memmi hospital, situated in Ariana, near the country’s capital, Tunis, says the robot will reduce physical contact with infected patients and lower risk of infecting frontline health workers.
There is a screen mounted at the upper part of the robot, which allows audiovisual interaction between doctors and relatives. The patients can see and identify their relatives by looking into the screen.
There’s also a website where relatives of infected patients can make a reservation for virtual visits. Once they arrive, the robot would be remote-controlled and directed into the room of the patients for video conversation to take place.
Also, Enova, a tech start-up based in Sousse, is responsible for designing and building the robot.