Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Swams of Nurse Bots

The IWARD European project has announced plans to develop "Nurse Bots" by 2010 at a cost of 3.88 million euro.

Most of the tasks described as being potentially carried out by robots acting as a dynamic swarm are probably portering/cleaning rather than nursing, however proposals for a thermal imaging camera it could observe the patient to see if they are too hot or cold, could be interesting. suggests that they could "help to keep wards cleaner and cut infections by hospital super bugs such as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)".

A comment attached to the story on EHealth Insider suggests "we are struggling to produce consistent letters to patients which contain the details they need for their appointments with one of the LSP systems and yet we are confident we would relatively soon let a robot push a patient round a hospital in a wheelchair" and questioning whether "they would arrive intact in the right place at the right time".

A brave new world is envisioned - but perhaps as well as this far thinking "blue skies" research we need to be making sure we get the basics right.

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