Robots clearly are the future of medicine and denying this self-evident truth will only make the transition that much harder. Robots already help doctors see patients, replace nurses, and mess with blood, so it only makes sense to have an R2D2-wannabe to transport medical specimens. (Actually, this looks pretty sweet. . .)
Autonomous robots will soon be appearing in hospitals around the US, according to CCS Robotics and MobileRobots Inc, jointly announcing Speci-Minder, a new hospital helper robot that assures patient samples arrive at the lab expeditiously.
Speci-Minder automatically adjusts to changing environments, without wires, lines, reflectors or other traditional guidance. It wends its way through hallway traffic finding alternate routes when blocked. It stops at various pick-up points to collect patient samples. At the lab, staff unload samples, then press a button to send Speci-Minder on its way.
Speci-Minders first employer, Christiana Hospital near Wilmington, DE, named their robot Frances. Says Cheryl Katz, Administrative Director, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, “We have a very large clinical lab, with specimens delivered to one location and then distributed. Before Frances, people were actually leaving their posts to take samples to various labs for processing. The robot has done very well helping our staff increase their efficiency and our department improve the timeliness of processing samples.”
Says Tony Diodato, president of CCS Robotics, “We understand hospitals need a system that both makes a good impression and gives staff prompt, reliable deliveries. Using MobileRobots amazing bases and our wireless access control technology, we were able to design a robotic solution that accomplishes both goals, and reduces hospital costs simultaneously.”