GeckoSystems Intl. Corp., a provider of mobile robotics healthcare solutions, revealed today that it’s working on a plan for its robotic system to further enable healthcare providers with more cost-effective solutions in caring for patients in wheelchairs needing routine vital sign monitoring.
Recently GeckoSystems announced its first Japanese order from Imasen Engineering, one of Japan’s oldest wheelchair manufacturers, to upgrade two of its power wheelchairs to be “collision-proof.” GeckoSystems is currently developing a mobile robotics concept to do this.
Care for infirm, chronically ill, and frail individuals with various potentially life- threatening episodes is a significant problem throughout the world. To answer this need, GeckoSystems developed an eldercare-capable personal robot, the CareBot, nearly 14 years ago and recently completed its first year of in-home trials.
Robot helpers promise sustainable and affordable health provisions without compromising the quality of care, say experts.
GeckoSystems is now planning to create a robotic wheelchair consisting of a wheelchair equipped with several artificial intelligence systems (GeckoSavants), originally developed for the CareBot. In concert, these systems enable the occupant of the chair to benefit from colliding or crashing into objects and make room-to-room transitions. GeckoChat would provide verbal interaction for control of the wheelchair and announcement of medication and other timely reminders.
The GeckoScheduler would time and start the prompting of the various reminders for medication and/or vital sign measurements, such as blood pressure, pulse rate, blood sugar and/or oxygenation level, and EKG monitoring, mounted on the wheelchair.
The GeckoSuper is programmed by the care givers to sound an alarm when any pre-set vital sign parameters are exceeded and to notify care-givers by pager, email, and/or cell phone. In nursing homes or assisted living facilities, each ChairBot would be wirelessly networked into the residence's information system for continuous monitoring of each individual's vital signs.
While the cost of the ChairBot would be greater than that of a CareBot, the cost benefit ratio would be high, given that semi-professional and professional care-givers would no longer be required to be in near or constant physical proximity to the person receiving the care. For example, one care-giver could provide complete monitoring of multiple patients and yet be immediately notified if any of their vital signs exceeded pre-established bounds.
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Deborah DiSesa Hirsch is an award-winning health and technology writer who has worked for newspapers, magazines and IBM (News - Alert) in her 20-year career. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell