January 18, 2013By Lance Baily

PCMAG Says InTouch Health RP-VITA Best Robot in Show at CES 2013

CES, or the Consumer Electronics Show, is one of the world’s largest annual technology showcases which takes place every January in Las Vegas.  This year, PC Mag rated the iRobot & Intouch RP-VITA medical robot as “BEST ROBOT” at the show, explaining that the “RP-VITA is the first [robot] that can navigate autonomously. The RP-Vita has built-in mapping, obstacle detection, avoidance technology, and an iPad user interface that can connect directly to hospital systems. When a patient rings a call button, the RP-VITA could be dispatched bedside allowing the doctor to evaluate the patient’s condition from anywhere in the world”.

telemedicine robot

The federal government is clearly aware of the opportunity to reduce costs and increase distance medicine as InTouch’s website recently posted an article called “A Legislative Turning Point” because of a new measure sponsored by the U.S. House of Representatives:

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“The Telehealth Promotion Act of 2012 (H.R. 6719) brilliantly addresses the two chief roadblocks in telemedicine: reimbursement and licensure. Plus it goes much further, calling for some long-needed improvements to existing programs. If enacted, Thompson’s bill would extend the benefits of telemedicine to nearly 75 million Americans by increasing access through Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, Children’s Health Insurance Program, and other federal programs.”

Obviously, telemedicine is on the frontier of healthcare education which has a lot of potential application for clinical simulation based activities as well.  Through teleconferencing and other virtual reality engagements (like Second Life) healthcare learners could be remotely watch a simulation experience and actively engage in debriefing all in real-time.  Many AudioVisual systems designed to capture simulation will allow for off-site streaming of recorded content.  Mobile units from these companies could conceivably be utilized for streaming debrief room sessions across geographic locations.  Check out the InTouch website news page to learn more about the future applications of telemedicine technology in healthcare.

Check out more of the innovative products showcased at CES 2013 and for further reading on robots in healthcare in general, visit Michelle McNickle’s article “10 Medical Robots That Could Change Healthcare” posted on InformationWeek! Know about an interesting robot with healthcare applications? Post a link in the comments on this articles page.

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