Children's National celebrates Valentine's Day with launch of cardiac ICU robot, Dr. Bear Bot

Patients at Washington, D.C.-based Children's National Health System celebrated Valentine’s Day with a robot reveal party for the hospital's new telehealth tool in its cardiac intensive care unit, dubbed Dr. Bear Bot.

Five things to know:

1. Developed by InTouch Health, the Wi-Fi-enabled robot serves as a virtual liaison to connect patients, nurses and physicians with specialists in the hospital's telemedicine program.

2. Dr. Bear Bot first arrived at Children's National in August 2018. The robot recently completed a 90-day test period in the tele-cardiac ICU at Children's National.

3. During the robot reveal party, patients learned Dr. Bear Bot's name, which was chosen following a 21-day voting period among 185 children and staff. After the party, Dr. Bear Bot handed out robot-themed Valentine's Day cards.

4. The robot is designed to assist physicians in monitoring multiple patients' vitals simultaneously. For example, if a patient needs an X-ray, an onsite clinician can transport Dr. Bear Bot to the patient's room while a physician — located remotely in the hospital’s virtual command center — appears virtually on the robot's display screen.

5. Over time, the telemedicine team will measure models of efficiency in the tele-cardiac ICU, including how fast a patient checks in and out of the hospital as well as standards of safety and quality of care.

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