Robo-Doc on Call 24/7

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Most people would like a little more time with their doctor.

Now, it's possible 24/7 in the Intensive Care Unit at St. Mary's Medical Center.

The iRobot allows doctors to talk to patients and see them on a high-resolution camera wherever they are, as long as there is a high-speed Internet connection.

St. Mary's Medical Center is one of eight hospitals across the country using this version of telemedicine. It is FDA approved and uses AutoDrive technology. Once the ICU is mapped, the robot will be able to drive itself to specific rooms with the click of a mouse.

The robot will not replace doctor-patient interaction. However, it does allow the doctor to see what nurses are seeing when the physician is not at the hospital.

Doctors can make assessments through the high-resolution camera. The doctor can further instruct nurses or have them begin treatment as they make their way to the hospital.

When the robot is in the room, it is treated as if the doctor is in the room. Curtains are drawn, doors are shut and all privacy laws are respected.

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