Vanderbilt University researchers are designing an autonomous medical robot that could eventually replace triage nurses in hospital emergency rooms.
Dubbed TriageBots, the autonomous units will be capable of analyzing medical data, taking basic diagnostic measurements and making critical decisions regarding a patient’s immediate needs.
According to The Independent, the futuristic triage system comprises roaming "monitor" bots, along with an emergency room-based kiosk featuring voice prompts and a touch-screen UI for quick registration.
The kiosk is expected to aid the TriageBots by taking vital signs, helping patients fill out forms, assigning individuals to a waiting area and alerting hospital staff to life threatening events.
Sounds a bit unrealistic you say?
Well, not really, because medical bots are already a reality in the UK and Japan.
For example, a receptionist robot welcomes visitors and answers spoken questions at the Aizu Central Hospital, while RIBA - Robot Assistance for Interactive Body - is tasked with lifting patients from their hospital beds.
And in the UK, a fleet of robots transport clinical waste along with dirty linens, as others deliver food and dispense medication.