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iRobot, InTouch Health Unveil RP-VITA Telepresence Robot, Let Doctors Phone in Bedside Manner
July 24, 2012 | William Zimmerman
In case you missed the memo, there's quite a bit more to iRobot than adorable autonomous vacuums -- these days the firm works on military projects, consumer electronics and tablet-controlled telepresence robots. Earlier this year, iRobot even retooled itself to build an emerging technologies group, announcing a partnership with InTouch Health to put its AVA telepresence technology to better use. Today the two companies are announcing the fruits of their labor -- the Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant, or RP-VITA. The project aims to combine the best of iRobot's AVA telepresence units with InTouch health's own bots, creating an easy to use system that allows physicians to care for patients remotely without stumbling over complicated technology.
The RP-VITA features state-of-the-art mapping and obstacle detection and avoidance technology, a simple iPad user interface for control and interaction and the ability to interface with diagnostic devices and access electronic medical records. The remote rig will eventually be able to navigate to specified target destinations autonomously, though this feature is still being reviewed by the FDA for clearance. iRobot and InTouch are optimistic about the unit, but claim that the RP-VITA is only the beginning. "While this represents our first foray into the healthcare market, the RP-VITA represents a robust platform," said Colin Angle, Chairman and CEO of iRobot, "we see many future opportunities in adjacent markets." The new telemedicine assistant is slated to make its first appearance at InTouch Health's 7th Annual Clinic Innovations Forum later this week. Check out the press release [below] for the full details.
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