Researchers have built a robot nurse to remotely measure pat
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During the current coronavirus pandemic, one of the riskiest parts of a health care worker’s job is assessing people who have symptoms of Covid-19.

Researchers from MIT, Boston Dynamics, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital hope to reduce that risk by using robots to remotely measure patients’ vital signs.

To achieve that, they used a robot known as Spot, which can walk on four legs, similar to a dog. Health care workers can maneuver the robot to wherever patients are sitting, using a handheld controller.

The researchers mounted four different cameras onto the robot — an infrared camera plus three monochrome cameras that filter different wavelengths of light.

The researchers developed algorithms that allow them to use the infrared camera to measure both elevated skin temperature and breathing rate.

Measurements from the infrared camera can also be used to calculate the patient’s breathing rate. As the patient breathes in and out, wearing a mask, their breath changes the temperature of the mask. Measuring this temperature change allows the researchers to calculate how rapidly the patient is breathing.

The three monochrome cameras each filter a different wavelength of light — 670, 810, and 880 nanometers. These wavelengths allow the researchers to measure the slight colour changes that result when haemoglobin in blood cells binds to oxygen and flows through blood vessels.

The researchers’ algorithm uses these measurements to calculate both pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation.

In this study, the researchers performed the measurements on healthy volunteers, and they are now making plans to test their robotic approach in people who are showing symptoms of Covid-19, in a hospital emergency department.

Source: https://news.mit.edu/2020/spot-robot-vital-signs-0831
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