There are several categories of robots that can be used in a hospital setting.
Robots can serve a cleaning and disinfecting function or they can check on patients and provide simple services like delivering water and food to administrating certain medications or actually caring for patients.
So again the broad categories of medical robots includes:
– surgery robots
– rehabilitation or exoskeleton assistance robots
– hospital cleaing and disinfecting robots
– patient care
So in this section we are talking more about robots that can help in the hospital ward to clean and to assist in checking on patients or delivering medication and to some degree providing a companion role.
Some companies providing solutions in this area includ Seimens, GE, Aethon, McKesson and others.
Xenex is a company which uses pulses of xenon to disinfect rooms and is being used by hundreds of hospitals.
Aethon has a TUG autonomous robot that can service patients by delivering medications and can move around the ward and use elevators with the aid of its many on board sensors and mapping capability.
Many companies are working on affordable telepresence robots which can be sent on a regular floorwatch by a remote operator.
A rolling humanoid telepresence robot can make its rounds with a built in face camera and microphone and could go room to room and have the remote operator see the patient and interact with them as a way of simply checking in. This is a simple to implement and afford type of robot and great sophistocation could be added to it if the hospital or care home budget allowed.
Hanson Robotics has recently released its new Grace robot which is based on the Sophia technology but is designed for use in the healthcare environment.
You can read some interesting comments about how people feel about using robots to take care of patients basic needs on this hacker/hobbyist site. https://hackaday.com/2021/08/25/welcome-to-our-new-robot-nurses/
For years we have had the ability to put baby cameras in a babys room and grandparents or others could check in on the baby from 1k00 miles away using your average cell phone.
Now lets over simplify but…a telepresence robot is not a huge stretch from a baby camera on a vacuum! 🙂
Simply add a roomba type vacuum with a wireless camera on a pole and some software and you could have a very simplistic telepresence camera to move from room to room in a basic hospital or care home floor and have the front desk nurse/operator or family member check on their relatives.