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Robot Helps Patients by Offering Medicine from a Distance

Ortonville Area Health Services (OAHS) has a new addition to its medical staff, the InTouch Robot.

The InTouch System uses a two-way communication system that allows both the provider and the patient to see and hear each other, just as if they were in the same room.

Ortonville Area Health Services (OAHS) has a new addition to its medical staff, the InTouch Robot. Through the InTouch Health Remote Presence System, Sanford Clinic specialty providers located in other cities can link directly to their patient’s exam room in Ortonville though a video and voice two-way connection, which includes a robot.

“This is amazing technology for healthcare facilities serving a rural population,” stated Bob Ross, MD, OAHS. “Through the use of the InTouch system, we are able to bring specialized services instantaneously to our patients, providing quality specialty care to our patients-close to home. There is no longer a need for many patients to travel several times over a long distance for appointments related to their specialty care.”

The InTouch System uses a two-way communication system that allows both the provider and the patient to see and hear each other, just as if they were in the same room. The RP-7i robot serves as the patient’s portal to their provider. This robot, completely operated by the Sanford Clinic specialty physician located off-site, is able to move from room to room through a remote used by the specialist. Also, through video and sound technology, patients may see and speak with their provider.

This system operates in real-time, much like the physician being there. With the robot’s ability to easily move from patient to patient at a moment’s notice, the InTouch System provides quick access directly to the patient, meaning the specialty provider can consult with both the patient and healthcare providers at the local facility at the same time and all without moving the patient.

Sanford Clinic specialty services offered in Ortonville currently include nephrology, OB/GYN, cardiology, pulmonology, neurology and pediatric cardiology. Because of the new InTouch System, OAHS and Sanford Health hope to increase the frequency of specialist visits, possibly adding dermatology and trauma/emergency medicine, among others. Ortonville Area Health Services is a member of the Sanford Health network.