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Faxe Municipality and Blue Ocean Robotics will begin an innovation project with the aim of outlining how the collaboration concerning the citizens of Grøndalscenteret, a rehabilitation center in Haslev, can be strengthened by using video consultations and robotic technology.
FAXE MUNICIPALITY – FEBRUARY-AUGUST, 2017
The innovation project will identify the opportunities for a doctor to attend to patients from the clinic or hospital by using telepresence technology. Furthermore, the aim of the project is to outline the current cooperation between doctors and Faxe Municipality concerning the individual citizen at the rehabilitation center.
The technology involved in the project is a Beam telepresence robot (a Beam Pro) that enables a direct contact between a doctor and a citizen without leaving the clinic or the patient room.
The project will identify whether such a way of communicating will be able to supplement the physical consultations and what the citizens and the staff think is important when it comes to feeling safe in an interaction. The idea is to give the doctor an opportunity to see and hear patients through a telepresence robot, and by using the technology have the basis to assess the patient’s condition. Therefore, it will be a supplement and qualification of the physical meeting.
High level of patient security
This kind of robotic technology maintains a high level of patient safety as communication between the doctor and the citizen will not be recorded or otherwise stored. Thus, it remains the doctor’s responsibility to journalize consultations conducted through the technology. The online access to the Beam telepresence robot and all the communication are encrypted by the highest US military standard for all than the participating parties through a combination of TLS, SSL, AES and HMAC-SHA1 encryption.
The interest is big
“It is an exciting opportunity to test whether “robot rounds” may help to increase the confidence of the patients and the staff. It is interesting to find out if the visual – that we can see each other “live” – will contribute to a better communication and increased security. I think that the robot is accommodating in its design – it is at eye level. By using it, it is possible to read far more signals than if we are just talking over the phone,” says the general practitioner, Morten Winthereik, who is a local authority practice consultant.
The president of the Social and Health Committee in Faxe Municipality, Mogens Stilhoff, is also looking forward to seeing how the project and the technology can make a positive contribution.
“I am excited about the project for several reasons. I am pleased that the management, staff and general practitioner Morten Winthereik embrace this innovative experiment. And I am pleased on behalf of the citizens that we have the potential to improve the treatment in their immediate environment. First, it is possible that we can prevent hospitalizations and second, the citizen can probably avoid strenuous driving – sometimes over long distances – to the doctor”, says Mogens Stilhoff and adds:
“This is how robotics can help strengthen our service to the citizens and it is the kind of innovation that the Municipality of Faxe wants to contribute to”.
Vice President of Innovation at Blue Ocean Robotics, Rikke Voldsgaard Risager, is looking forward to following the innovation project and to see how the staff and the patients embrace the new technology:
“We are looking forward to identifying whether such a communication platform will be able to supplement the physical visits and what the citizen and staff think about it. In other sectors, we have seen that the technology of telepresence can optimize the processes for how the interaction takes place, and it will be exciting to see whether it also applies to this sector. In collaboration with Faxe Municipality, we have a plan for the commissioning and validation, with the aim to clarify the advantages and disadvantages in the use of telepresence robots, says Rikke Voldsgaard Risager.
First, the aim of the project is to identify the opportunities for using telepresence technology as a communication platform between a general practitioner and the citizens at a rehabilitation center. Furthermore, the innovation project aims to highlight the organizational needs and the possible economic potentials. During the innovation project, the following seven factors will be evaluated in correlation with the practical work and experiences with the telepresence robot:
Usability – define the way the telepresence robot should be used to provide an optimal user experience for medical staff, citizens of the rehabilitation center and their relatives.
Work structuring – implement the right way to organize the work concerning the use of the Telepresence robot and the collaboration between the Municipality and the general practitioners.
Competency – identify the need for education and competencies for the staff.
Infrastructure – identify and implement possible needs for adjustments on buildings, IT, Internet, or otherwise.
Technical support and service – clarify the need for education, support and 24/7 service/surveillance of the robot solution.
Business case – account for certain data and economy concerning the solution with a possible specialization of the robot solution (hardware/software) for the specific application.
The result of the innovation project will give the municipality of Faxe a clear conclusion on whether they should invest in a full-scale implementation of the solution, and what changes and developments which may have been a prerequisite for achieving the identified outcomes.
Following the objectives of the project, the main topics are:
In which contexts can the telepresence robot supplement and/or replace the physical attendance of the doctor.
Can the telepresence robot be used for a follow-up treatment?
What do the citizen and the doctor think about the consultation via the telepresence robot?
Can the technology provide multiple visits / easier access to the doctor and relieve staff in relation to the relatives.
Visit or no visits: Assessment of a physical visit is necessary or not.
Can the virtual doctor visits help to alleviate hospital admissions?