Some hospital jobs might be performed better by robots. For that reason, General Electric has a small unit focused on working with existing robots to put them into specific hospital applications.
Sterilization and tracking of surgical instruments are tasks being eyed. GE figures it can reduce hospital infections and related deaths.
A big problem is “improper sterilization of surgical instruments,” said John Lizzi, manager of GE’s Intelligent Distributed Systems Lab. “It’s just a chaotic environment and they’re being asked to do more with less.”
For new employees, “there’s a very steep learning curve in the sterile processing department.” said Lynn DeRose, the principal investigator on the project. “It will help remove human error.”
GE plans to use radio-frequency identification chips along with visual recognition software for robots to identify instruments, sterilize and sort them.
The GE team says it is looking at a system of robots to perform simple tasks such as transporting, cleaning and managing inventory. The difficult task will be baking all the technologies together – software, sensors and robotics – to create task-oriented robotic workers.
Plans call for demonstrations at Veterans Administration hospitals with within a year and a half. The next step would be to commercialize it.
“We’re developing real cool technology, but we’re also saving lives,” DeRose said.
Hey artofcashin, this would be absolutely fantastic news if it is iRobot providing the base units for GE. The article didn't specifically say iRobot but they would make the best partner since they already have an FDA clearance for an autodrive unit.
Ten, About half a buck a way from the 52 week high and the Bloomberg exposure Monday at 9:30 PM eastern on the Brink. This one has the feel of a stock that is ready to break out in a big way. That buyback program if they used much of it takes is another factor that bodes well for the next earnings and any news about acceptance and placement of the units in additional hospitals could be fuel for the move. Those Sept 30 call options that I picked up early this week are worth a big smile.