A new physician at Nebraska Medicine, the teaching hospital for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, US, gets worldwide attention. Dr. Double, is part robot, iPad and Segway.
The hospital acquired a DoubleRobotics remote telepresence device, nicknamed Dr. Double in 2014.
"Telemedicine is an alternative delivery format that uses audio/video technology to bridge geographical barriers and remotely deliver the same standards of care as a patient would expect in an 'in person' setting. Dr. Double allows a remote user to drive the Internet-connected robot from anywhere else on the Internet, using a computer or an iPad," explains Kyle Hall, telehealth program coordinator at the hospital.
Nebraska Medicine's Child Life Program also uses the robot to entertain and educate pediatric patients.
Hall notes the help of Calgary Scientific, a software firm in Canada, located 1,300 miles from Omaha.
"Calgary Scientific is a company whose software is available for use by our neurosurgeons to access X-ray images from their mobile devices while they're on call. Our friends up north also happen to have a DoubleRobotics device in their location, so I asked if they wanted to help brighten the lives of our pediatric patients," says Hall.
The hospital presents Dr. Double with a lab coat and cowboy hat.
"There was such a positive impact on the children we visited. Laughter and play are part of the healing process for our pediatric patients, so being able to interact with the robot was the best kind of medicine for them and their families," describes Lisa Wallace-Spech, child life specialist at Nebraska Medicine.