WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Two AI-powered robots programmed to deliver food and medicines to coronavirus patients are now being employed at a hospital in Guangdong province in China.
- A local health commission said the AI machines can cut the workload of medical workers and provide them protection from infection as well.
- The deadly coronavirus can be contracted by exposure to contaminated saliva and touching contaminated surfaces.
A hospital in southern China has started employing a pair of AI-powered and self-disinfecting droids to help treat coronavirus patients.
In an online post, the Guangdong Health Commission said the robots named Ping Ping and An An, which together means ‘peace’, have already taken to delivering medicine and meals to patients and even collecting bedsheets and hospital trash yesterday at the Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital.
As of noon today, 354 people in the province of Guangdong have been confirmed to have been infected with the disease, 37 of whom were considered in serious condition while 13 others listed under grave condition.
The government body also added that both devices are ideal for delivering medicine to patients due to their ability to open doors and take lifts while avoiding obstructions, read maps, detect their surroundings, plan best routes and create patients’ database and record their work process. Additionally, the machines are also programmed to sing and entertain guests staying in the quarantined zones.
Each of the self-driving and self-charging robots can equal the role of three drug distributors, the commission said. Pharmacy staff just needs to send them a delivery order where they take the medicine from the pharmacy to bring to the nurses’ office.
In the process, officials said no human effort is involved which could help reduce the workload of medics as well as lower risks of cross-infection. The droids can also disinfect their own interior and exterior surfaces with rubbing alcohol in just a matter of seconds.
Experts said the contagious coronavirus can be spread through contaminated saliva and surfaces. So far, 20 medical workers in China have already contracted the disease from patients.
Meanwhile, the hospital is planning to bring in a third droid to help tackle the disease.
Since the outbreak last month, the killer virus has now infected every region of China including the remote province of Tibet, as well as 20 other countries. The death toll has soared to over 300 with 38 patients dying in one day, marking the largest jump in 24 hours. With confirmed cases in China reaching 16,000, 100 more cases from outside the country bring the total to over 17,000.
Source: Daily Mail