Telemedicine robots help improve health

October 11, 2006

University of Queensland telemedicine researchers are using a robot named Eliza to conquer the tyranny of distance and improve delivery of specialist medical care to the bush.

Eliza, who began work at Mt Isa Hospital this week, is a creation of the University's Centre for Online Health - a world leader in telemedicine research.

The wireless robots can be wheeled to the bedside of sick children for video-link consultations with Brisbane specialists, greatly reducing the need for families to travel to the city for specialist care.

Local doctors take the robot to the bedside and thanks to a video-link, established via the Centre for Online Health, the sick child can see their Brisbane specialist on the robot's television-like screen. A built-in camera and microphone enables the specialist to see and speak with the child.

Eliza is one of four robots that will be commissioned over the next three years, thanks to a $335,000 grant provided by mining company Xstrata (Community Partnership Program), through the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation.

The robot project is an extension of the telepaediatric research led by the Centre for Online Health, in collaboration with the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane.

An earlier model robot, known as Roy, is already a successful addition to the children's ward at the Gladstone District Hospital, in Central Queensland.

The Xstrata funding will support the development of four new robots which will be deployed in selected central and north Queensland hospitals, as well as employment of a Senior Research Officer to manage the project at the Centre for Online Health.

Senior Research Fellow Dr Anthony Smith said the new robots would enable the Centre to build on the successful trial conducted in Gladstone.

"This funding gives our research team the opportunity to investigate how this ground-breaking service can be expanded to other regional hospitals throughout Queensland and to evaluate its capacity to deliver high quality clinical care to patients, as well as professional support and educational opportunities to health staff in regional areas, such as Mt Isa," Dr Smith said.
-end-


Research Australia

Related Robots Articles from Brightsurf:

On the way to lifelike robots
In order for robots to be able to achieve more than simple automated machines in the future, they must not only have their own ''brain''.

Children think robots can help the elderly -- but not their own grandparents
A study that asked children to assess three different robots showed that they responded most positively to simple robots shaped like flower pots, and were most sceptical of Pepper the robot, which looks more human.

Nanomaterial gives robots chameleon skin
A new film made of gold nanoparticles changes color in response to any type of movement.

How many jobs do robots really replace?
MIT economist Daron Acemoglu's new research puts a number on the job costs of automation.

Robots popular with older adults
A new study by psychologists from the University of Jena (Germany) does not confirm that robot skepticism among elder people is often suspected in science.

Showing robots how to do your chores
By observing humans, robots learn to perform complex tasks, such as setting a table.

Designing better nursing care with robots
Robots are becoming an increasingly important part of human care, according to researchers based in Japan.

Darn you, R2! When can we blame robots?
A recent study finds that people are likely to blame robots for workplace accidents, but only if they believe the robots are autonomous.

Robots need a new philosophy to get a grip
Robots need to know the reason why they are doing a job if they are to effectively and safely work alongside people in the near future.

How can robots land like birds?
Birds can perch on a wide variety of surfaces, thick or thin, rough or slick.

Read More: Robots News and Robots Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.