Hospitals world over are using robots to assist frontline workers in taking care of COVID-19 patients. The phenomenon is catching up in India too mainly because healthcare workers at hospitals are risking coronavirus infection while taking care of those infected by it.
To help them treat the patients while maintaining physical distancing norms, Durgapur-based CSIR lab, Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, has developed a robotic device HCARD (Hospital Care Assistive Robotic Device).
This robot can be controlled and monitored by a nursing booth with a control station having features such as navigation, drawer activation for providing medicines and food to patients, sample collection and audio-visual communication. So, doctors and paramedics can administer medicines, speak to the patients, and also offer them food without being in their proximity.
The device is equipped with various technologies that allow it to work both in automatic as well as manual modes of navigation.
Harish Hirani, Director, CSIR-CMERI said, "This Hospital Care Assistive Robotic Device could be effective for frontline healthcare officials dealing with COVID-19 patients in delivering services while maintaining mandatory physical distancing."
One of the competitive advantages for HCARD would be its price. The cost of this device is less than Rs 5 lakh and the weight is less than 80 kilograms, added Hirani.
WHO recently announced the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) in preventing transmission of coronavirus in the society.
Scientists at CMERI have also developed few other customised technologies, including Disinfection Walkway, Road Sanitiser Unit, Face Mask, Mechanical Ventilator and Hospital Waste Management Facility.
AIIMS, Delhi recently announced that it will deploy Humanoid ELF by Gurgaon-based firm Milagrow that can move autonomously and enable doctors and family to communicate with COVID-19 patients from afar through its 10-inch screen. It will also be using floor cleaning robot Milagrow iMap 9 to sanitise floors in COVID wards without human intervention. Fortis Hospital, Bengaluru is using an interactive robot to screen every person's temperature who enters the premises.