Tommy the Robotic Nurse Helps Maintain Italy Docs Protected From Coronavirus

He would not put on a masks however he’s serving to save lives from coronavirus simply the identical. Meet Tommy, the robotic nurse.

Tommy is one among six new robots serving to flesh-and-blood docs and nurses take care of coronavirus sufferers on the Circolo Hospital in Varese, a metropolis within the northern Lombardy area that’s the epicentre of the outbreak in Italy.

“It is like having one other nurse with out issues associated to an infection,” mentioned Physician Francesco Dentali, director of intensive care on the hospital.

The kid-size robots with giant blinking eyes are wheeled into rooms and left by a affected person’s bedside so docs can take care of others who’re in additional critical circumstances.

They monitor parameters from gear within the room, relaying them to hospital employees. The robots have touch-screen faces that enable sufferers to file messages and ship them to docs.

Most significantly, Tommy and his high-tech teammates enable the hospital to restrict the quantity of direct contact docs and nurses have with sufferers, thus lowering the chance of an infection.

Greater than 4,000 Italian well being staff have contracted the virus treating victims in Italy and 66 docs have died.

The demise toll in Italy, the world’s hardest hit nation by way of deaths, topped 13,000 on Wednesday, greater than a 3rd of all world fatalities.

“Utilizing my skills, medical employees could be in contact with the sufferers with out direct contact,” Tommy the robotic, who was named after a son of one of many docs, defined to a visiting reporter on Wednesday.

It takes some time for sufferers to understand that, given the enormity of the duty of combating coronavirus and the toll it’s taking over overworked medical employees, robots could also be simply what the physician ordered.

“You need to clarify to the affected person the goal and performance of the robotic,” Dentali mentioned.

“The primary response will not be constructive, particularly for previous sufferers. However for those who clarify your goal, the affected person is comfortable as a result of she or he can communicate with the physician,” he mentioned.

The robots additionally assist the hospital restrict the variety of protecting masks and robes employees have to make use of.

“As of late, they’re a scarce useful resource,” mentioned Physician Gianni Bonelli, the hospital’s director.

The scarcity of masks has been one of many largest issues dogging the nationwide well being system for the reason that contagion surfaced on the finish of February.

The nationwide commissioner for the emergency has mentioned it should take Italy not less than two months to turn out to be self-sufficient in producing protecting masks.

Tommy and his fellow robotic nurses have yet one more benefit – they don’t seem to be topic to exhaustion. A fast cost of batteries and they’re again at work within the ward.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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