BOSTON (CBS) -- Robots are now helping healthcare workers at Brigham and Women's better protect themselves while treating coronavirus patients. Boston Dynamics says that the robots are cutting back on the use of PPE, but could be capable of much more.
A robot named "Spot" is being used to provide a buffer between healthcare providers and patients who are potentially positive for COVID-19.
"As a simulation, I would be a patient. And basically, the robot Spot would walk into the tent to evaluate me," said Dr. Peter Chai, of Brigham and Women's hospital.
Armed with an iPad, Spot would enable telemedicine visits controlled by doctors while they see the patient safely from inside the emergency department.
"We would be able to have a virtual conversation about my symptoms," Chai said.
Still in the study phase, plans are in place to equip Spot with sensors that can make the virtual visit even more interactive.
"These onboard cameras here could basically stare at me while the interview is being conducted and collect a set of vital signs so they would understand if I have a fever if my heart rate is too high to be safe to go home, what my oxygen level is," Chai said.
The goal for now is to interact with and evaluate patients while limiting exposure for healthcare workers, as well as the amount of PPE required.
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