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Children’s Hospital Utilizes Robots for Patient Care


Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital is enhancing treatment for its young patients by using innovative robotic technology. The robot, Gita, assists hospital workers with the distribution of gifts, prizes, and other contributions to pediatric patients without the need for human contact.

Meredith Dean, manager of the hospital’s Seacrest Studios, a media facility supported by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, claims that Levine Children’s is the first hospital in the country to deploy the Gita robot. Each robot costs around $3,600 and currently, there are three Gitas in the hospital named after characters from a famous book. The red one is named Ron, the blue one is Harry, and the last one is named Hermione, which is gray.

Dean stated that using these robots is particularly effective in the rehabilitation unit and it encourages youngsters to walk more. Long-term cancer patients, she noted, often light up when Gita pays a surprise visit.

Because these kids have never seen something like this before, they simply become so excited about something different than their normal day, Dean explained. It appears to be enhancing the general attitude of patients and families in a really difficult circumstance, as well as staff.

She stated that there may be a potential to obtain additional Gita robots, but for the time being, three are plenty for the medical personnel.

The Gita Robots

Children's Hospital Utilizes Robots for Patient Care

Gita is a robot that is designed to follow humans and carry roughly 40 pounds of cargo. Piaggio Fast Forward, a division of the Italian firm well known for its Vespa scooter, designed it. According to Dean, they also were frequently employed in airports for food deliveries.

The Gita robot has four cameras on the front that detect human bodies and can follow them while avoiding obstructions. She said that since the robot does not save information or footage, the hospital does not have to worry about patient confidentiality.

Dean stated that the Gita robot has been in testing for roughly a month. The only problem the robot has is it cannot tread backward. The robot is also not autonomous and requires human intervention to function.

Linda Takahashi

American-born New Yorker Linda Johnson has been fascinated with robotic machines since she was a teenager, when her father, a surgeon, would introduce to her the machines that he used to perform keyhole surgeries. This interest led her to pursue a tech degree at the University of Washington, where she met Sota Takahashi. They married and now have two children. Linda’s father developed dementia later on and was given a robot pet as a companion. She saw how much having a robot pet friend helped her father, which is what led her to create this website and advocate to spread word about robot pets and how they can help both children and the elderly.

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