Robot eases loneliness of Mexican coronavirus patients | Inquirer Technology
Close  

Robot eases loneliness of Mexican coronavirus patients

/ 03:56 PM September 03, 2020
 coronavirus, robot

A health worker takes a selfie with LaLuchy Robotina robot at the 20 de Noviembre National Medical Center in Mexico City, on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. Image: Claudio Cruz/AFP

A robot at a hospital in the Mexican capital is providing a lifeline for coronavirus patients separated from their relatives and reducing the risk of infection for medical workers.

“Hi, I’m LaLuchy Robotina! What’s your name?” the 1.4-meter-tall (4.6 feet) robot asks patients as it goes from room to room.

ADVERTISEMENT

It moves around on wheels and has a camera and display screen enabling relatives and doctors to chat with patients or staff in full protective gear in the coronavirus ward.

“It allows us to have a physical presence… but with zero exposure to aerosols within the COVID-19 area,” said Lucia Ledesma, a neuropsychologist at the November 20 National Medical Center.

FEATURED STORIES

The hospital robot, part of a global trend aimed at reducing the risk of infection during the pandemic, was even designated as a “co-therapist” for coronavirus patients in July.

coronavirus, robot

Health workers and LaLuchy Robotina robot remain by COVID-19 patient Rosa Maria Velazquez Fernandez, 55, at the 20 de Noviembre National Medical Center in Mexico City, on August 27, 2020. Image: Claudio Cruz/AFP

Since then, it has carried out around 160 missions with infected patients, their relatives and the mental health team.

It can even make soothing sounds to reduce the stress caused by isolation.

The robot “helps us with the mental health of the patient,” said Sandra Munoz, who coordinates the hospital’s strategy against the virus, which has killed more than 60,000 people in Mexico.

The bot has computer vision enabling it to recognize people and sensors to help it to move around.

It is a lifeline for patients like Rosa Maria Velazquez, one of more than half a million Mexicans who have been infected with the virus.

“As (families) cannot enter, they see us and we see them, and that cheers us all up,” the 55-year-old said from her hospital bed. NVG

ADVERTISEMENT

RELATED STORIES:

WATCH: Man invents gun that shoots masks onto people’s faces

Study hints, can’t prove, survivor plasma fights COVID-19

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

TOPICS: coronavirus, mental health, Mexico, Psychology, Robot, telemedicine
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.