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Robotics Research
Posted on September 25, 2018

Socially intelligent robot supporting healthcare teams

Burnout in the healthcare industry feels inevitable. Currently, nurses face significant physical, mental and emotional challenges in increasingly overburdened work environments. The average turnover rate for Registered Nurses (RNs) in hospitals hovers around 20 percent within their first year in the field. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Mobile Robots and Drones in Material Handling and Logistics 2018-2028.
 
Clinical staff spend a reported average of 30 percent of their time on non-care activities like gathering medical supplies or restocking supply rooms. Staff clock up to eight to ten miles a day running back and forth to supply rooms, further diverting them from direct patient care. The top five things that nurses wish they had more time for include: emotional support, education, care coordination and discharge planning, care planning, and timeliness of care.
 
With the ongoing complexities of attending to the changing conditions of patients combined with the demanding back-end tasks expected in healthcare shift work, there's less and less time for meaningful face to face contact with patients.
 
But with the right help, this can change. Enter AI. To address these types of cognitive overloads many industries face, Diligent Robotics' focus has been to utilize technology that learns, adapts and has limitless potential.
 
Diligent Robotics decided to start with healthcare and have announced Moxi, their socially intelligent robot that supports clinical staff as an important and trusted member of the team.
 
Moxi's goal as a robot is not to replace the jobs of people, but quite the opposite: to support people in their roles. Moxi supports clinical staff by augmenting logistical tasks that limit valuable patient care time. By executing non-patient facing, logistical tasks that clinical teams are responsible for, Moxi creates a more efficient and thoughtful environment allowing for better patient care.
 
As a friendly, sensitive and intuitive robot, Moxi not only alleviates clinical staff of routine tasks but does so in a non-threatening and supportive way that encourages positive relationships between humans and robots, further enhancing clinical staff's ability to and interest in leveraging AI in the healthcare industry. Created with a face to visually communicate social cues and able to show its intention before moving to the next task, Moxi is built to foster trust between patients and staff alike, setting the stage for future innovation and partnerships with developing technology. Moxi's specific tasks and responsibilities at each hospital will be tailored to fit each hospital's needs.
 
The first trials with Moxi begin this week at several hospitals including Texas Health Dallas, The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) and Houston Methodist Hospital.
 
Diligent Robotics believes that the unity and harmony between people and AI has the potential to change the way we take care of one another. They are specifically focusing on the development of socially intelligent robots that function in care-oriented environments such as hospitals. With robots as trusted and reliable members of a team, they hope to inspire people to use their ingenuity, passion and skills to address bigger and more pressing challenges.
 
Source and top image: Diligent Robotics
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Sensors USA 2018 External Link on 14 - 15 Nov 2018 at Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, USA hosted by IDTechEx.