Robotic nurses?

11 May

Although the hospital is quick to point out that the 200-pound robot won't replace human health care, I am now imagining HMOs replacing nurses with robots after reading this:

Nurses at Oakwood Hospital's emergency room are calling the newest addition to their staff "Rosie" after the faithful, robotic maid in the futuristic Jetsons cartoon.

The comparison isn't far from the truth.

Standing about 5 feet tall, the hospital's new Rounding Robots have computer screens for heads and real-time video cameras for eyes and ears. Doctors can operate them by remote control to examine patients from another building or even another country.

The 200-pound robot won't replace human health care workers, but will allow specialists or a patient's personal doctor to examine them from another location — enhancing convenience for physicians and giving patients quicker access to doctors who aren't in the hospital. Oakwood expects to start using two of the robots in the hospital's emergency and surgical departments within two weeks.

If the helpful bot starts taking DNA samples of patients, be afraid.

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