Robot ER staff could speed triage

Within the next five years, robots could help speed the ER triage process, according to Mitch Wilkes, associate director of the Center for Intelligent Systems and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Vanderbilt University. He is the lead author of a new paper that describes an ER that would feature electronic kiosks at the registration desk and sensor-laden "smart chairs." A mobile robot or two might monitor patients in the waiting room. The main robots and agents of what the engineers call the TriageBot System would handle the 60 percent of patients in the ER who are not suffering life-threatening conditions. A group of engineering students has already started to design and build a prototype registration robot assistant that will include a touch-screen display, a camera, a blood pressure cuff, an electronic weight scale and a fingertip pulse oximeter. --Read the full story in FierceHealthcare