Triaging patients in a busy clinical environment can be a challenge. Patient needs have to be matched by proper staff and equipment while maximizing utility and preventing bottlenecks. A talking commercial toy robot tinkered by folks at MIT to think about triage, has been challenged with managing a labor ward at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Specifically, the Nao robot suggests which of the twenty rooms and which of the ten nurses the incoming patients should be directed to. The suggestions are just that, and have been compared to the decisions that staff made on their own, showing significant correlation. It’s not clear why one needs a physical talking robot instead of an indicator on a screen, but the underlying technology is what’s important anyways.
Here’s a short video demonstrating the technology: