Improving patient care with robotics

January 29 2020

Robots could soon become an even more common sight at Southmead Hospital under a partnership to explore their potential to enhance patient care.
North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) are collaborating on the development of robotics and other healthcare technology to improve patients’ health and hospital experience.
Southmead Hospital is one of the most technologically advanced hospitals in Europe, with robots conducting cancer surgery, dispensing pharmacy medicines, transporting supplies, and analysing blood samples.
Under the partnership, NBT will consider how emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and socially and physically assistive robots, could be used to better support patients.
For example, socially assistive robots could give post-operative patients on wards personalise guidance to regularly eat, drink and exercise, helping them to recover physically and mentally in conjunction with their therapy team.
Robots connected to smart sensing devices could also be used to help patients recover in the comfort of their own homes.
North Bristol NHS Trust Clinical Director for Anaesthesia, Surgery, Critical Care and Renal, Mr Tim Whittlestone, said:
“Robots can help us do some of the more mundane, repeatable tasks and free up staff to do what they do best – listening, thinking and caring. They can also analyse data."