Friday, August 27, 2010

Hospital Replacing Certain Employees....With ROBOTS

Welcome to the future of medical care. A California hospital, in an effort to save costs, has decided to replace certain employees with robots. Apparently these robots are capable of delivering food, supplies, and--get this--medications.

Of course, robots have come a long way, from the robot on Lost In Space (imaginitively named "robot" as I recall), to R2-D2, technically a droid but still a robot in my mind. Now I'm sure that either would have been capable of delivering food, and delivering medications would have been a no brainer for R2-D2 (after all, his computer diagnostic and programming capabilities saved Luke and Leah's behinds on more than one occasion).

But this raises the question: can a robot detect the sudden change in a patient's status, like labored or shallowed breathing, while passing routine meds? Or detect whether a pulse oximeter has fallen off a patient's finger? Can it respond to a patient's sudden onset of complaints? Or provide the touch of a soft hand to calm a patient's fear or anxiety?

And can these robots even detect whether they are passing the correct meds in the first place? Some of this stuff "does not compute" in the human experience. It remains to be seen whether any of it computes to the robots...

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