Telepresence and Pandemics: The Role of Robots
Telepresence robots are being developed to help healthcare professionals assist remote patients. If a pandemic, natural disaster, or some other crisis occurred, telepresence robots would be invaluable in caring for the sick and injured. However, in the event of a major catastrophe, there may not be enough health care workers to go around, so it’s important to have tools like a telepresence medical robot to make up for the lack of manpower and resources available.
But what exactly does a telepresence robot do? And how could they be used to save lives during an epidemic? Let’s find out!
Providing A Lifeline for Family Members
What are your options when you have a loved one who needs to stay home during an outbreak or pandemic? Sure, there’s phone calls, emails and texts. But wouldn’t it be better if there was another way to talk face-to-face? Thanks to modern technology, being able to see your loved ones while they’re still at home is becoming possible. We are now seeing telepresence robots making an appearance. These robots provide remote caregivers with an option other than depending on videos and photos for communications. The idea that these machines can help reduce stress and strain when communicating with family members affected by an epidemic is very exciting for families—and medical professionals alike.
Reducing Exposure & Conserving Personal Protective Equipment
One of the biggest concerns with using telemedicine during a pandemic is that it increases exposure for medical personnel to whatever pathogen is spreading. A telepresence medical robot, however, would give doctors an immediate view into patients’ condition without them physically being exposed to their patients. Some experts are suggesting that there might even be situations where telepresence robots could protect health workers while they treat patients remotely. This would reduce their need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and help conserve valuable PPE supplies for when they’re needed most.
One significant benefit of telepresence robots is that they can give doctors remote access to patients. This allows for increased patient monitoring and efficiency. During outbreaks, when medical professionals are in high demand and treating illnesses quickly is imperative, it is beneficial to have multiple options for patient care. Telepresence robots allow hospitals to treat more patients with limited staff and space. The ability to remotely examine patients not only improves efficiency but also helps ensure doctors are examining their most critical cases first. Additionally, telemedicine through telerobots allows patients who may not come into the hospital due to transportation issues or concerns about spreading disease symptoms to still receive treatment from a medical professional.
Special Needs and Research Assistance
People living with special needs can be among those most affected by pandemics. However, even healthy individuals may experience difficulty leaving their homes during an outbreak. This is where telepresence robots become useful. During a pandemic, they could provide virtual access to care and support services at home or anywhere else that’s convenient for users.
They won’t be curing disease any time soon. Yet it is clear that telepresence robots can play an important role in medical education and training. Especially at busy teaching hospitals or in remote regions that lack physicians. Admittedly, there are some real challenges to implementing telemedicine, especially within developed countries where access to medical expertise is less of an issue than it might be for developing nations. For example, we still don’t have universal protocols for communicating with and interpreting patient data obtained through telemedicine interactions. We also don’t know what potential impact these interactions may have on physician decision-making processes.
Telepresence robots can attend a wide variety of traditionally missed appointments because they conflict with work or school schedules. If you’re sick and miss an appointment, telepresence robots mean you don’t have to reschedule. You can use their video conferencing feature for your work and simply transfer control to your attending physician. Timely care means more than just seeing a doctor when it’s convenient; it means staying healthy enough so you can be there when your children get home from school or make it through another day at work.