As Covid healthcare workers across the globe are facing a serious threat of getting infected. An Indian hospital is taking the help of a robot to mitigate the risks faced by their staff and specialists. A robot called Mitra has been deployed as a customer-service robot to patrol the hospital wards. The robot also helps coronavirus patients connect to friends and relatives.
Mitra is mainly used by patients who are not able to communicate using their phones and is also being used for remote consultations with specialists to reduce their risk of becoming infected.
At the Global Entrepreneur Summit in Hyderabad in the year 2017, Mitra shot to fame after being introduced to US President Donal Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and Prime Minister Modi.
The robot has been developed by a Bengaluru-based start-up called Invento Robotics. According to the director of the company that runs the hospital, the robot cost them ₹10 lakh according to Yatharth Tyagi, director of the company that runs the hospital.
The robot is equipped with facial recognition technology to help it recall people it has previously interacted with. A tablet attached to Mitra’s chest allows patients to see loved ones, as well as medical staff unable to access the wards.
“It takes a lot of time to recover, and during this time, when patients need their families the most, they are unable to visit,” said Dr Arun Lakhanpal, a doctor at the Yatharth Super Speciality Hospital in Noida Extension, a satellite city of the capital New Delhi.
“We mainly discuss my health,” said Makhanlal Qazi, a retired government bureaucrat and coronavirus patient who has used the robot to communicate with relatives. “I came here on Friday and now I have started feeling better. I am feeling very happy now.”
“Normally it is very difficult for a psychologist or a dietician to see a Covid patient,” Tyagi said, adding the robot is “very useful”.
India’s novel coronavirus cases surged past 5 million on Wednesday, only the second country in the world to cross the grim milestone after the United States.
With Inputs from Reuters