FDA Approves the First Autonomous Remote Presence Robot

First Posted: Jan 25, 2013 04:08 AM EST

The company best known for its military and consumer robotic solutions, iRobot Corp., has gained the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval for its Remote Presence Robot for use in hospitals.

The RP-VITA (Remote Presence Virtual Independent Telemedicine Assistant) is the first autonomous remote presence robot to receive a nod from the FDA.

"FDA clearance of a robot that can move safely and independently through a fast-paced, chaotic and demanding hospital environment is a significant technological milestone for the robotics and healthcare industries," Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot, said in a press statement. "There are very few environments as difficult to maneuver as that of a busy ICU or emergency department. Having crossed this technology threshold, the potential for self-navigating robots in other markets, and for new applications, is virtually limitless."

iRobot.Corp has profited after receiving the FDA's sanction. The company's share values soared to 10.27 percent to $23.28 Thursday 2 p.m., reports Boston Business Journal.

Intouch Health and iRobot together have produced RP-VITA that consists of the latest mobility technologies as well as autonomous navigation. This new technology supports the remote doctor-to-patient consults, making sure the physician is available at the right place and the right time. Apart from this, with RP-VITA assistance, the doctors can easily access useful clinical information so that they can conduct the treatment at the earliest.

With the help of sophisticated sensors, the robot can move easily without bumping into people and objects. The iPad interface helps the doctor visit a patient and makes communication with staff and patients easy with the help of a single click, irrespective of location.

With the green signal received from the FDA, RP-VITA can be used for active patient monitoring in pre-operative, peri-operative and post-surgical settings that includes cardiovascular, neurological, prenatal, psychological and critical care assessments and examinations.

According to Yulun Wang, chairman and CEO of InTouch Health, the medical arena has benefited with the presence of remote presence solutions. The first autonomous navigator RP-VITA has faced rigorous testing. The officials are confident that the robot's ease of use and unique set of capabilities will enable new clinical applications and uses.

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