The Neuro Intensive Care Unit at Cedars-Sinai has the hospital’s first mobile robot, which allows physicians to remotely perform rounds, assist residents, and communicate with patients’ families when they are not physically present.
Physicians use a joystick in their home or office to maneuver the robot around the ICU. A camera atop the robot is sufficiently sensitive to detect pupil dilation, and there is an attached stethoscope that a nurse can place on the patient to allow the physician to check vital signs. The physician’s face appears on a monitor, and a phone handset allows staff and patients to speak with the physician.
The robot – named RP-7 in standard robotics fashion – enables extension of the Neuro ICU staffing while maintaining quality care, according to David Palestrant, MD, director of Neuro-critical Care and the Cedars-Sinai Stroke Program. Dr. Palestrant and other use the RP-7 between 9 and 11 p.m. nearly every night.