Medical robot RP-VITA gets FDA approval

Call 911: RP-VITA will show your doctor's face on its screen. It has onboard tools like a phone and stethoscope.

(Credit: Tim Hornyak/CNET)

LAS VEGAS–How would you feel if you were hospitalized and your doctor were talking to you through a 5-foot robot?

RP-VITA (Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant) is a remote-, iPad-operated telepresence bot. It’s become the first self-navigating communications robot to receive FDA certification, developers InTouch and iRobot said at CES 2013.

The machine is approved “for telemedicine consults inclusive of active patient monitoring in high-acuity environments where immediate clinical action may be required,” InTouch said in a release. Specifically, it’s cleared for “active patient monitoring in pre-operative, peri-operative and post-surgical settings, including cardiovascular, neurological, prenatal, psychological, and critical care assessments and examinations.”

Based on iRobot’s AVA telepresence platform, RP-VITA was unveiled last year. It’s been put through trials at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and Children’s Hospital of Orange County, and leasing will begin this year at about $6,000 a month…. [Read more]

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