FDA Approves Navigation Robot for Telemedicine Programs

The FDA has approved the first autonomous navigation robot for hospitals, which could be useful for state and federal telemedicine programs, according to a GCN report.

The Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant (RP-VITA) was developed by iRobot in Bedford, Mass., and InTouch Health in Santa Barbara, Calif. With RP-VITA, physicians will use an iPad interface to connect to hospital systems, direct the robot to the patient, view a patient's medical records and access devices such as ultrasounds and electronic stethoscopes to evaluate a patient.

The robot uses mapping, obstacle detection and avoidance technology to avoid collisions with objects and people. It will cost between $4,000 and $6,000 to operate a human-sized robot, according to the report.  

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