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See Spot run... and take temperatures

Credit: Spot image courtesy of the researchers, MIT News

Throughout the 2020 pandemic, social distancing has been an important part of everyday life. However, medical professionals are not able to distance as much when it comes to caring for their patients. Being able to work up close with patients and assess their vitals is a major part in providing care for those who have fallen ill. However, this may start to change as researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital work with AI technology to transform the way we take vitals.

“Spot”, a new 6-foot tall dog-like robot, is now being tested in hopes of protecting frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Spot is now being employed to take patients’ temperatures, using four cameras to take and measure different vitals. Spot is able to measure skin temperature, using an infrared camera which compares facial temperature and body temperature, so it can calculate an accurate reading. Besides temperature, Spot can measure breathing, pulse rate, and oxygen saturation.

While Spot’s technology was developed to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, technology like this may become an essential part of medical routines. There are hopes that it will be employed in hospitals and also replace pop-up tents for testing sites. Even though Spot has only been tested on healthy individuals, they’re hoping to deploy Spot in a variety of medical settings and to use it for COVID-19 patients.

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