JEDDAH: A robot medic is being used to treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients in a Saudi hospital.
The hi-tech machine, in operation at the King Abdullah Medical Complex in Jeddah, is capable of carrying out tests and making diagnoses on people suspected of having contracted the killer virus.
By using the robot, health officials aim to curb the spread of COVID-19 among medical and nursing staff, as well as patients, while conserving stocks of personal protective equipment and other preventive medical supplies.
Dr. Khalid Al-Thumali, the general supervisor of the complex, said the robot had been installed with medical devices such as a stethoscope, otoscope, eye camera, and a camera specialized in examining the skin from afar through a built-in high-resolution lens.
It also carried other tools that allowed doctors and nurses to work from a safe distance in diagnosing COVID-19 cases, providing patients with medical consultations, reading their vital signs, producing radiograph images, and checking patient files via a smartphone app.
Al-Thumali added that the technology not only speeded up response times but provided top-quality medical services both inside and outside the complex. The robot had been given automatic access to isolation rooms and could be programmed to move between them and sanitize after leaving each room.