When you require medical treatment, you want to know you are going to receive the best in patient care with up-to-date equipment and techniques. Canadian clinics and hospitals are at the forefront of healthcare innovations and one of the most beneficial technological advancements currently being introduced is the use of robot technology.
The once-futuristic notion of robots helping medical staff and patients is now a reality in several hospitals across the country.
The introduction of these mechanical ‘doctors’ is especially important in smaller and more remote hospitals that do not have the resources prevalent in much larger facilities. Instead of physically transporting patients to these much larger hospitals for diagnosis, physicians are now able to remotely interact with patients, via a smartphone, videolink and the ‘doctor in a box’ robot.
The robots are able to use diagnostic equipment such as stethoscopes, ultrasounds, and electrocardiograms to see, touch, and hear the patient. Information is immediately shared, in real-time, with a doctor who could be on the other side of the city.
This technology could have a similar impact in road vehicle accidents. In the past, emergency room physicians would have to wait for the patient to arrive at the hospital before they would be able to perform scans, diagnose injury, and recommend treatment. With this development in technology, these little mechanical robots can be used by paramedics at the scene of the accident to enable emergency room doctors to see the patient, advise the paramedic, and even conduct scans before the ambulance arrives at the hospital.
The impact of these robots in disease reduction could also be considerable. Instead of travelling to a healthcare facility or hospital, patients with suspected highly contagious illnesses can remain in their homes whilst they are assessed by a physician via the robotic machines. This could be instrumental in containing disease outbreaks and minimizing epidemics by keeping infected patients isolated.
Whilst the Canadian medical community is keen to improve the health and wellness of residents in their own country, they are also keen to use this innovation to facilitate humanitarian work around the world. Using remote-presence technology, Canadian specialists are able to use microscopes and scanning equipment to diagnose patients on the other side of the world.
Dr. Ivar Mendez, a neurosurgeon pioneering the clinical use of remote presence technology in Canada, suggests
“This is going to revolutionize the way we deliver health care, not only in Canada but in the rest of the world.”