Sunday, July 17, 2005

Video Robots Redefine Bedside Manner

FRom the Lincoln Journal Star, though originally published in the Washington Post:

Ries Daniel was waiting in his hospital room the morning after bladder surgery when the door finally swung open. But it wasn't his doctor. Instead, a robot rolled in, wheeled over and pivoted its 15-inch video-screen "head" toward the 80-year-old lying in his bed at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital.

"Good morning," said a voice from the robot's speaker. It was Louis Kavoussi, Daniel's urologist. His face peered down from the screen atop the 5½-foot-tall device dubbed Dr. Robot. "So, how was your evening? No problems?"

Studying his patient through an image beamed back to his office by Dr. Robot's video camera, Kavoussi was concerned because Daniel had run a fever overnight and developed a cough. "You're not looking as good as yesterday," said Kavoussi, zooming in the camera for a closer look after having focused on Daniel's chart moments before.


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