Robots to take on nursing duties at Japanese hospitals


According to a report by local media The Asahi Shimbun, robots are making their way into Japanese hospitals in-order to reduce the workload of human healthcare professionals.

These robotic helpers were developed by Nagoya University and Toyota Industries and will be deployed by Nagoya University Hospital in February, they will help to deliver drugs and test samples. During the first quarter of the year, four robots will work the night shift from 5 p.m. through 8 a.m., riding elevators to visit different floors as they carry out their regular duties.

The robots are capable of traveling at speeds of up to 3.6 kph carrying up to 30 kilograms and are about 125cm tall. They will travel between the Department of Hospital Pharmacy, Surgical Intensive Care Unit and Department of Clinical Laboratory to deliver fluids, test samples, and other objects medical staff may need.

Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals can call a robot and give it a task to perform through tablets. Working in a hospital is not as easy as many think, that been said, these robots will be able provide support to staff and also reduce workload and improving efficiency.

The robots contain radar technology and have a 360-degree field of vision. If a human blocks their way, the robots can either go around them or ask the human to let them pass. When low on power, the robots automatically return to charging stations.

The workload can be reduced by using robots to do tasks that people have been doing. We hope to ensure that nurses and other professionals can concentrate more on their primary duties.

Naoki Ishiguro
Nagoya University Hospital's director

Japan is a country where overwork is heavily connected to high suicide rates, let’s hope the deployment of robots and other AI assistants will lessen the mental and physical strain of employees.

robot is a machine—especially one programmable by a computer— capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically. Robots can be guided by an external control device or the control may be embedded within. Robots may be constructed to take on human form but most robots are machines designed to perform a task with no regard to how they look.

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