Robots improve ICU patient care

July 14, 2012 at 11:49 PM
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CINCINNATI, July 14 (UPI) -- Physicians who use robots in intensive care units said it improved patient care as well as patient and family satisfaction, U.S. researchers found.

Charles R. Doarn, editor in chief of the journal Telemedicine and e-Health and a family and community medicine research professor at the University of Cincinnati, said remote presence robots -- remote-controllable robots that allow doctors to see and interact with patients -- were used in intensive care units to help critical care physicians supplement on-site patient visits and maintain more frequent patient interactions.

A report, published in Telemedicine and e-Health, said physicians who employed this technology to supplement day-to-day patient care strongly supported the positive clinical and social impact of using robots.

"The integration of robotics in healthcare adds value to patient care and management of an individual's health," Doarn said in a statement.

Investigators at InTouch Health in Santa Barbara, Calif., and the Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, found most of the physicians utilizing robotic remote presence in the ICU were more senior staff who specialized in critical care medicine.

"All survey respondents intend to continue using the technology," the report said.

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