In a bold step to reduce contacts between medics and patients in the fight against Coronavirus, Rwandan Government says it has deployed high-tech robots at its health facilities.
Using robots is expected to limit the risk of healthcare workers from contracting the virus.
The cost of each is put at about $3,300.
The country’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation said the robots have the capacity to screen between 50 and 150 people per minute, capture both video and audio data, and notify officers on duty about detected abnormalities for timely response and case management.
Launched on Tuesday, May 19 at the Kanyinya COVID-19 Treatment Centre by the Ministry of Health with support from the United Nations Development Programme, the five high-tech robots can perform a number of tasks related to COVID-19 management, including mass temperature screening, delivering food and medication to patients, capturing data, detecting people who are not wearing masks, among others.
Made by Zora Bots, a Belgian company specialised in robotics solutions, they are designed with various advanced features to support doctors and nurses at designated treatment centres, and can also be leveraged into screening sites in the country.
Rwandan Minister of Health, Dr Daniel Ngamije, said: “Medics and other front-liners visit patients’ room many times to deliver medication, meals, carry out tests, among other things – and this may pose a risk of contracting the virus.
“These robots will fasten service delivery while protecting our valuable health workers against COVID-19 exposure.”
Ngamije said that robotics engineers would train the Ministry of Health staff on the use of the robots for about one month.