Robo doctor rolls out at Greenslopes Private Hospital
May 22, 2020
Ground-breaking health care is rolling out at Greenslopes Private Hospital, with the newest member of staff being a robot that travels throughout the hospital to treat and visit patients.
Temi, a telepresence robot, allows doctors to be at the bedside of patients while maintaining strict infection control measures at the Ramsay Health Care hospital Brisbane.
Greenslopes Private Hospital Emergency Centre director, Dr Mark Baldwin, said Temi enabled the hospital to keep family members and staff safe when patients were in isolation and helped limit the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“Temi’s head is at the height of a patient in bed or seated in a chair,” Dr Baldwin said.
“The robot can steer around a ward or emergency department autonomously. Temi’s head is in fact a small television monitor which has a live feed of the doctor or staff member who wants to speak with the patient.
“There is a little tray behind the monitor which can carry items like medical equipment, medications or even sanitiser and masks.”
Dr Baldwin said the robot provided a human presence without the risk of infection.
“Family members and health care workers can see and talk to a patient without being in the room,” he said. “Temi can move around the wards and follow a patient without any other person being present.”
Dr Baldwin said there was something more “human” about a patient being able to see their doctor’s face on the robot’s monitor.
Greenslopes Private Hospital CEO, Chris Went, said Temi had been purchased from a Melbourne company, Exaptec, which specialises in social service and telepresence robots.
“Temi is a great addition to the staff,” Ms Went said.
“Of course, nothing can replace hands-on care and that is what we provide the majority of the time.
“However, when a patient is in isolation, Temi is a safe way for health staff to continue monitoring them and for family and friends to catch up in a more personalised way than over the phone.
“We are happy to invest in new technology like Temi, to ensure that patients still receive the best possible outcome and our staff and their families are kept safe during times of isolation.”