Video conferencing robots being used in California hospitals

Thursday, April 28 2011

Talk about high-tech: Hospitals in California are using robots on wheels to connect doctors who may not currently be physically available to patients using video conferencing technology.

According to the Sacramento Business Journal, the Mercy Telehealth Network is allowing stroke specialists in the Methodist Hospital in Sacramento as well as St. Joseph's Medical Center in Stockton to quickly diagnose and evaluate stroke victims. The system uses a robot with an onboard monitor and camera, which lets healthcare specialists see and hear their patients in the hospital and vice-versa.

"Our highly trained stroke specialists can be at the bedside of these patients in their local hospital emergency departments quickly with the help of telehealth robots to determine the best care possible," Mercy Telehealth Network executive sponsor Patti Monczewski explained to the news source.

The Mercy Telehealth Network plans on expanding the technology to other hospitals. Besides the two healthcare organizations, the robots can also be found in a few other hospitals, including the Mercy Hospital of Folson and the Sierra Nevada Memorial in Grass Valley, the news article adds.