What is it about?

Healthcare professionals are confronted with an increased demand for assessments of important health status measures, such as Patient Reported Outcome Measurements, and the time this requires. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness and acceptability of using a robot assistant for this task. We compared the robot and a nurse conducting an interview with 52 closed questions with older adults on their medical condition. The task times turned out to be similar, there was agreement between the data obtained and the older adults considered the method acceptable.

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Why is it important?

Older adults and patients in general should get as much personalized interaction with their doctors and nurses. Sometimes the interaction is more focused on the task of gathering data from the patient than on the task of joint decision making. A social robot may allow to split these tasks and take over the first task, allowing the Healthcare profesionnal to spend more time on the second task.


I hope this article contributes to a better Healthcare by studying how the interaction between patients and Healthcare professionals can be optimized through support of social robots. I hope that other researchers will contact me to exchange experiences and share opinions.

Roel Boumans
Radboud Universiteit

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Robot for health data acquisition among older adults: a pilot randomised controlled cross-over trial, BMJ Quality & Safety, March 2019, BMJ,
DOI: 10.1136/bmjqs-2018-008977.
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