Earlier in 2012, robotics firm iRobot built an emerging technologies group and announced a partnership with InTouch Health to put its AVA telepresence technology to better use. As a result, the two companies developed the Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant, or RP-VITA, which combines iRobot's AVA telepresence units with InTouch health's distance education tools, creating a system that allows physicians to care for patients remotely.
The system features mapping and obstacle detection, as well as avoidance technology and an iPad user interface for control and interaction. The robot can also interface with diagnostic devices and electronic medical records (EMR) systems. The remote rig will eventually be able to navigate to specified target destinations autonomously.
"While this represents our first foray into the healthcare market, the RP-VITA represents a robust platform," said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. "We see many future opportunities in adjacent markets."