Tuesday, July 22, 2014 Last update: 6:03 PM
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Sequoia Hospital First on Peninsula to Add Telemedicine Robot to ER Stroke Team

Companies mentioned in this article: Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital has added cutting-edge technology to its Emergency Room team to combat stroke--a telemedicine robot designed to quickly diagnose patients with stroke symptoms. Sequoia is the first hospital on the Peninsula to offer this technology.

The robot, called the RP-VITA(TM) and nicknamed "Rosie" after the robot on The Jetsons cartoon, connects to a remote neurologist who can help diagnose the patient within 10 minutes. The physician can see both the patient and the patient's documentation, including medical imaging, thanks to two-way audiovisual capabilities. This allows for immediate, real-time decision-making any time day or night before Sequoia's on-call neurologist arrives. Sequoia also was re-certified in May as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.

"Patients experiencing stroke symptoms must be treated as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms," says Eleanor Vigilante, RN, Director of the Sequoia Hospital Emergency Department. "This is why being able to quickly connect with a neurologist who can examine our stroke patients is so important."

The five-foot-tall robot has a flat-screen computer monitor "face" so that patients and family members can see and interact with a neurologist in real time. Via the robot, the neurologist is able to examine and talk directly to the patient, consult with onsite physicians, and make recommendations about the patient's neurological care. Additionally and conjointly, the patient will be evaluated by an on-site neurologist.

The RP-VITA is controlled using an iPad App and is equipped with an autonomous robotic navigation system that allows the robot to create a digital map of the Emergency Department and "see" people and objects to avoid bumping into them.

"We are very excited to bring this state-of-the-art technology to Sequoia. We know that 'time is brain' when dealing with stroke," says Glenna Vaskelis, Sequoia Hospital President. "Enhancing our stroke-certified ER team with this robot ensures that our community is receiving the most advanced stroke care available."

The RP-VITA robot is FDA approved and HIPAA compliant, and its Cloud-based infrastructure ensures a reliable connection even in variable network conditions. It was developed in partnership with InTouch Health, a leader in acute care remote presence telemedicine, and iRobot, a leader in robotic technology-based solutions.

SOURCE Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital