Has it come to this? Robots standing in for doctors at the hospital patients' bedside?
Not exactly, but some doctors have found a way to use a videoconferencing robot to check on patients while
they're miles from the hospital.
One is at 423-bed Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. Outfitted with cameras, a screen and microphone, the
joystick-controlled robot is guided into the rooms of Alex Gandsas' patients where he speaks to them as
if he were right there.
"The system allows you to be anywhere in the hospital from anywhere in the world," said the surgeon, who
specializes in weight-loss surgery.
Besides his normal morning and afternoon in-person rounds, Gandsas uses the $150,000 robot to visit patients
at night or when problems arise. The robot can circle the bed and adjust the position of its two cameras,
giving "the perception from the patient's standpoint that the doctor is there," the surgeon said.
"They love it. They'd rather see me through the robot," he said of his patients' reaction to the machine.
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