7 ways hospitals use robots during the pandemic

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Healthcare providers across the U.S. and around the world are finding new applications for robotic technology to care for COVID-19 patients.

The robots help stem the spread of COVID-19 and conserve personal protective equipment during the pandemic. Here are seven ways hospitals have deployed robots over the past few months.

1. Nuro robots, called R2, are delivering food, fresh linens and protective gear from a supply depot to a field hospital in Sacramento, Calif., according to a Wall Street Journal report.

2. The Nuro robots are also delivering food from an off-site kitchen to COVID-19 patients in quarantine in San Francisco.

3. In China, Antwork Technologies' drone delivery service is making deliveries to hospitals, including flying test samples from one hospital to another to expedite the process.

4. Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston is testing a robot called Spot to interview patients with less serious COVID-19 cases, according to NPR. The robot, developed by Boston Dynamics, includes four "legs" and a screen that allows for video visits between clinicians and patients.

5. In Italy, the Circolo Hospital is using a robot with blinking eyes, wheels and a tablet monitor that includes a microphone to help clinicians interact with COVID-19 patients, according to PRI. The robot can measure patients' blood pressure and oxygen saturation, even if they are hooked up to ventilators.

6. Wuhan Wuchang Hospital in China developed a field hospital that includes a large number of robots that monitor patient vital signs using thermometers and other wearable devices. The robots also deliver food to patients, according to Harvard Business Review.

7. Baptist Health in Jacksonville, Fla., expanded its use of robotic disinfecting technology to clean and preserve N95 masks. The health system uses LightStrike from Xenex Disinfection Services and set aside one robot at each of its hospitals to clean N95 masks.

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