may 6, 2013
As we reported, telemedicine took a giant leap forward when the FDA approved an iPad toting robot that its creators believe will aid in patient care. iRobot (of Roomba fame) andInTouch Health teamed up to develop the RP-VITA, a robot with self-navigation capabilities and iPad integration that brings the doctor to the patient for virtual bedside care. The RP-VITA will soon see use in 7 different medical centers in the US and Mexico.

The RP-VITA causes almost no disruption to the routines of hospital staff, so rather than being the center of attention, RP-VITA’s creators hope that the technology will work so seamlessly that it will recede into the background allowing physicians and hospital staff to focus on the patient.

“The robot is the next best thing to having a doctor come and talk to you,” shared Kevin Sittner, a former neuro-ICU patient at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, the initial TeleICU program involved in the clinical development of RP-VITA. “You see each other’s face, and it feels like you’re actually talking to the doctor. It’s added comfort to me as a patient knowing I can get care whenever I need it.”

The RP-VITA employs an iPad interfaces that allows the physician to access 2-way audiovisual communications, patient data, medical images and robotic controls
Check out the RP-Vita’s capabilities:

  • AutoDrive autonomous navigation capabilities and one-touch driving, freeing the physician from the technology to take command of clinical situations.
  • State-of-the-art sensor intelligence that gives RP-VITA the ability to “see” people and objects and avoid bumping into them just as people do.
  • Sophisticated software allows RP-VITA to create a map of an ICU or ED floor that is integrated with hospital records so it will know exactly where to go when a physician selects a patient on an iPad or PC interface.
  • Physicians can easily connect for patient consults in under a minute with access to clinical documentation, patient data and medical imaging.

Is RP-VITA coming to a medical center near you? The following medical centers are among the first to employ this innovative technology:

  • Dignity Health Sacramento, CA
  • Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian Orange County, CA
  • Instituto de Salud del Estado de México Toluca, Mexico
  • Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Columbus, OH
  • Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center Burbank, CA
  • Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Los Angeles, CA
  • St. Mary’s Medical Center Huntington, WV


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