Your Next Doctor Visit May Be With A Robot
As if everything that's happened in the last 12 months hasn't made us feel like we're living in a sci-fi movie, the New York Post is reporting that the robot dog from Boston Dynamics is now a doctor.
Step aside, RoboCop, RoboDoc is on the case.
According to their story, the little four-legged robot has been outfitted with a tablet where the head would be so that an actual doctor can communicate with suspected COVID-19 patients and maintain an extra margin of social distancing.
It seems we're pretty well conditioned to expect things like Dr. Spot (yes, it has a name) because he's been pretty well received by the patients he was introduced to at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He's been utilized for simple interactions like checking vital signs, Q&A through the tablet, even things like nasal swabs or inserting intravenous catheters.
While it sounds crazy at first, checking in with your doctor via a tablet mounted on a robot that looks like a dog isn't all that far from the tele-medicine and zoom interactions most of us have gotten so used to in last few months.
According to Boston Dynamics it costs about $75,000 to build the initial robot, then another $20,000 or so for the customization. The system in use for Dr. Spot can identify a patient's face even if they're wearing a mask, assess body temperature, breathing, and heart rates through its built in camera, and even utilize special filters to determine blood oxygen saturation.
More than 90 percent of the patients involved reported their interaction as satisfactory and said they would have no trouble with more medical robots in the future.
Then again, maybe he won them over with his dance moves.
One thing is for sure, our world is changing at an ever increasing pace.