Coronavirus: Tygerberg specialists use 'robot' on ward rounds

Coronavirus: Tygerberg specialists use 'robot' on ward rounds

- Intensive-care specialists at Tygerberg Hospital have come up with a way to use technology during the coronavirus pandemic

- They have enlisted the help of a Double Robotic robot called "Quintin”

- Should any specialist contract Covid-19 and not be able to go to work, they will be able to do rounds from their homes

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The coronavirus pandemic has pushed people to think outside the box. Tygerberg Hospital has a limited number of specialists in its general medical ICU at present.

Because of that, they looked for ways to still be able to help should they contract Covid-19 and not be allowed at work.

Coenie Koegelenberg, Professor of Pulmonology at Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), started looking at ways to do virtual rounds in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Shortly before the lockdown, his wife, Dr Suretha Kannenberg, a dermatologist, had told him about the Sunskill laboratory’s Double Robotic ‘robot’.

Koegelenberg said:

“She suggested using the Sunskill laboratory’s Double Robotic ‘robot’ instead. [Sunskill is a state of the art clinical training facility at the FMHS]. I was not familiar with this device. The next day I met with Professor Ian Vlok from the FMHS’ Division of Neurosurgery and the Sunskill facilities manager, Bronwyn Stockenstrom who gave me a ‘crash course’ on how to use the Double Robotic ‘robot’. The Sunskill lab without any hesitation agreed to have the robots be used in the ICU until the pandemic is over."

The 'robot - which has been named “Quintin” - looks like a tablet computer and has two wheels. It uses gyroscope and accelerometer sensors in its base and can be controlled with a desktop, tablet or smartphone, Stellenbosch University freelance writer Sue Segar reported.

Segar added that the robot allows communication between patient and doctor with the help of a microphone and a zoom function.

READ ALSO: Nando's and Bheki Cele's hilarious exchange online has Saffas laughing out loud learned robot will enable specialists to do rounds from their homes, should they contract the coronavirus and not be allowed at work.

Tygerberg is not the first place to turn to robot for help - Italy, which is one of the worst hit countries in the world, has also been using the robotic technology.

Koegelenberg and Dr Usha Lalla, Tygerberg Hospital’s head of ICU, tested the robot. Take a look at how the Double Robotic robot works below:

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