Healing wirelessly

20 Apr 2009

A group of research centers and Qualcomm, through its Wireless Reach initiative, are collaborating to study the clinical effectiveness of physicians using the InTouch Health, RP-7 robot for trauma care.

The institutions supporting the project are the William Lehman Injury Research Center, located at the University of Miami/Jackson Medical Center\'s Ryder Trauma Center; the U.S. Army\'s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC); the Army Trauma Training Center (ATTC); and the American Telemedicine Association (ATA).

The project enables specialty physicians using the RP-7 robot to actively participate in the delivery of care in the resuscitation unit, operating rooms and intensive care Unit (ICU) from a remote location. Specially configured laptops with CDMA 2000 EV-DO Rev. A (Rev. A) wireless cards are connected to the RP-7 robot ,which allows the surgeons to autonomously drive the robot to patients\' bedsides using controls on the laptops to offer consultation during an emergency, monitor patients and train nurses and residents from their homes, offices or virtually anywhere. The robot\'s two-way audio-video capabilities will allow the doctors to check vitals, zoom in on the patient and provide advice to attending doctors, nurses or clinicians.

\'When high-speed wireless technology and connectivity become an integral component of the health care system, critical information from patients will get to doctors more quickly - and vice versa,\' said Don Jones, vice president of business development for Qualcomm\'s health and life sciences group. \'This compression of time will contribute to a revolution in the health care industry and we are proud to support this program through our Wireless Reach initiative.\'

Another benefit realized during the past year in using the RP-7 is the reduction of bacterial infections spread while physicians conduct their rounds - a problem in hospitals where doctors visit approximately 10-15 patients per hour. During this new stage of the project, doctors will examine deeper the use of the robot to conduct grand rounds, maneuvered by the doctor from somewhere else, as a potential solution to help reduce the spread of bacterial infections.

Source: www.medicaldesignonline.com

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