Brave new world

irobot-glanceWhen I was told recently that our emergency department would be getting a robot to help us, I must admit I was a little nervous.  What exactly would this robot be doing, I wondered.  Perhaps it has every medical fact from every specialty downloaded onto its hard drive, and a better bedside manner than me.  Perhaps in a few weeks, my services will no longer be required.  The day arrived, and the robot was delivered to the ER.  It stands about 5 feet tall, and its head is a flat screen monitor.  Two video camera lenses gape at you like oversized fish eyes.  There is a speaker in the center of its chest and it moves around on wheels.

Now here’s the good part.  It can’t do anything without a doctor.  Pheww!  What happens is I call up another doctor who is not anywhere near the hospital, and he can talk to me (and presumably a patient) through the robot.  That’s it.  That means my job is safe.  However, I don’t want to understate how valuable this tool could prove to be.  If I need a specialist that we don’t have, I could get a consultation from a doctor anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection.  Totally cool.  Now if I could just figure out a way to see patients myself while I hang out in the hot tub I’ll be set.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

shadowfax 03.18.09 at 9:50 am

Well, it’s cool, until it goes on a KILLING RAMPAGE!

Whose idea was it to arm this thing will Hellfire missiles, anyway?

Your ER Doc 03.18.09 at 4:45 pm

Too true! I am glad it has a self destruct button though.

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