Charlie and pediatrics

At CES 19 in Las Vegas, all the attention was not limited to autonomous vehicles and the rise of Artificial Intelligence. Children’s daily lives can also be improved by technology, especially when they are sick and treated for in-hospital heavy therapies. This thought is the conclusion of a father doctor, who wanted to find new solutions when his 4-year-old son was treated for early cancer.

 A robot named Charlie

Today, he presented his robot called Charlie, an inspiration he owes to his son, and that promises to interest many hospitals in France and elsewhere. Indeed, the robot doesn’t get sick, and since it’s equipped with a large display, it promises to entertain a young patient as much as possible. But most important is to make sure the patient is cared for and secure. Indeed, a single robot allows for the care of 10 to 30 patients according to the requirements of the doctor and the service. 

Equipped with many sensors, Charlie will be able to record the physiological constants of each child and transmit them in real time – valuable help for hospital staff always overworked. One can also think that the availability and presence of Charlie will be able to reassure the family and patients.

A multifunctional robot

Moreover, the display is a significant asset for maintaining the social link that is strongly affected by the distance of the patient’s relatives. The display can also be used to help the family communicate with the doctor, who will provide explanations at the right time via an interactive video conferencing system. A new way to secure both the diagnosis and the patient unaccustomed to the hospital environment, and often very worried or depressed.

Given the success of this robot, Nicolas Homerh plans to supply 4 robots in the first quarter of 2019:

  • two in geriatric services,
  • one in pediatrics,
  • and the last in a service of classical medicine.

Paro, the “therapeutic” robot

PARO has, for its part, developed a “therapeutic” robot (a classification authorized by the US FDA). This stuffed seal toy, Paro, is used to reduce the stress of young patients in the hospital. And the results are quite eloquent:

  • Decreased blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension,
  • reduced stress and anxiety,
  • prevention of depression,
  • increased confidence and social interaction,
  • improved quality of life.

Paro has surprisingly measurable effects. Super-equipped with sensors, the plush toy recognizes voice, knows whether it’s day or night, feels when caressed, and adapts to its environment.

As can be seen, the use of robots is not just limited to technical prowess like robot surgeons who will significantly improve the productivity of hospitals while relieving practitioners from common interventions. But the cost of such machines in today’s world is still a major obstacle to their implementation.

Technology evolves very quickly, the expectations or hopes of the population are very high, and the very young generations are no exception. On the contrary, the world of video games or fashion superheroes helps to promote the robot as a friend who could save them.

Also, In the hospital, a robot boosted with AI can save lives and be loved by men!


To read: When the safety of elderly patients becomes a priority