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The Robot Will See You Now


"Greetings, patient."
"Please inform me of your illness."


As if you weren't already paying through the roof for your insurance premiums, waiting weeks for a doctor appointment, and receiving substandard treatment, here's another thing to raise your blood pressure....the Robot Doctor!

That's right, currently in a couple of major hospitals (John Hopkins, UCLA Medical Center) the latest in non-invasive doctor care is being tested with the appearance of DR2D2, a motorized robot that is run by a doctor, somewhere far, far away.



"Forceps.....Suture.....Squeegee...."


The robot features a computer screen for a head, a video camera for eyes and a speaker for a mouth. It walks (or rolls), talks, and most importantly, listens. "That's because the robot is directly linked to a real doctor who uses the robot as it ears, mouth and eyes," says Louis Kavoussi, M.D., Hopkins professor of urology and a pioneer in robotic surgery.


"Good morning, Mrs. Mendelbahm!
Can you stick out your tongue and yell "Ahh?!!"


"You'll have to sit up, dear. Your tongue is out of focus!"


Billed as the world's first remote-presence robot by its manufacturer, InTouch Health Inc, the robot is controlled with a joystick by an actual living, breathing doctor. Looking at a computer terminal, the doctor sees what the robot sees and hears what the robot hears. Fortunately for the doctor, he avoids smelling what the robot smells. The patients can see and talk to the doctor's face displayed on a flat screen that sits on the robot's "shoulders." All thanks to a high-speed internet connection!


>
"Let's see...2 more patients, then surf for porn"


Dr. Kavoussi adds, "Generally, the robot has been used to check up on patients in between when they would normally see a physician. During these visits, we ask them about how they are feeling, inspect their surgical sites to ensure they are healing properly, and answer any questions they have." However, Dr. Kavoussi did not elaborate on whether any of these questions were "When the hell are you gonna show up in person, doc?!!"


If the Robot Doctors are a success, many doctors plan on having the computers and joysticks attached to their golf carts. It will make treatment soooo much easier for them.







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