Doctors who are away from the hospital can remotely control this robot and use it to videoconference with patients or medical colleagues. The RP-VITA (short for Remote Presence Virtual and Independent Telemedicine Assistant) can also call up patient medical records and display them to the remote doctor on an iPad or PC. Unlike earlier telepresence robots, this one doesn’t have to be manually sent around the hospital by the remote doctor; it can be fed a map of a hospital’s layout and instructed with a single click to go to a certain spot on its own, using sensors and obstacle-detection technology developed by iRobot.
Cost: $4,000 to $6,000 per month
Availability: Fourth quarter of 2012
Companies: InTouch Health and iRobot