"With its navigation and obstacle-avoidance skills, RP-VITA can be dispatched to patient bedsides with a single click by nurses or remote doctors. Equipment such as ultrasound machines can be plugged into the unit for data transmission, and patient interactions can be recorded."
It would give a hospital an image of being super hightech and futuristic.
Agree, and we all know how the hospitals LOVE to advertise their ISRG da Vinci toys. That IS a very big deal for them. Have to admit, they are being SMART, the FDA clearance thing is a great differentiator. Hospitals are SLOW purchasers, but if they get traction with this, could be a real revenue contributor, not to mention penetrating/learning the hospital market for future automated robotic gizmos/cleaners/ext.
Is this a media gimmick? As xorickalco asked: why not just hand a cell phone to the patient so he can speak to expert? Besides, are top doctors available to be interrupted by emergency calls every few minutes? especially when they are not on the scene, cannot examine the patient, and can be sued for everything they own if they make a mistake?
Well, there are some things that take a little experience to diagnose -- and your local hospital's attending may not have a clue on how to diagnose accurately. i.e "my hand is numb", or slurred speech meaning... A second opinion from a remote expert will save lives.
"Yulun Wang, CEO of InTouch Health, cites a Journal of the American Medical Association study that showed that patients prefer seeing their own doctor on a screen, even if he or she is in a remote location, than an unfamiliar attending physician who's nearby."
Hmmmm, this could be a winner. I guess my only reservation is why the AVA at $6,000 per month leasing is so much better than an iPad that a nurse hands to a patient to talk to their remote doctor.
"This is the first FDA clearance for a navigating robot," Wang says. "It's approved for emergency use, and will be used in life and death situations before other uses. Just as early cell phones were used in emergencies before becoming ubiquitous."
Fascinating. A headstart for iRobot over the competition. I'm trying to imagine a life-and-death use for AVA.
"If you have some illness and you're in a hospital, would you like to see the world's best expert in the field, or some guy who just happens to be there?" says Angle, who was at CES for a presentation."
Okay, I think i get it. A patient has an emergency condition and the onsite personnel may not have the best skills to deal with it, so the AVA is dispatched to the ER and a remote expert supervises the treatment.