R2D2 4 ICU: GE to Develop “Intelligent” Hospital Robot System to Sort, Locate and Sterilize Surgical Tools

January 30th, 2013 | by Tomas Kellner

The Institute of Medicine estimates that tens of thousands of Americans die needlessly every year from avoidable medical errors, including infections acquired during surgery. GE and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have now teamed to change it. They will jointly develop an “intelligent” system using robots, computer vision and automatic identification technologies like RFID tags to sort, sterilize and deliver surgical tools. The system could save lives, not to mention costs.

Some of the technologies behind the system have been used to automate manufacturing lines for many years. But their application in the surgery environment is new. “We believe that in combination with a new level of intelligence, they can help make operating rooms run more efficiently, lead to better patient outcomes, and save millions of dollars in healthcare costs,” says Lynn DeRose, a principal investigator and auto-ID expert in the Distributed Intelligent Systems Lab at GE Global Research.

Read more: txchnologist.com: R2D2 4 ICU: GE to Develop “Intelligent” Hospital Robot System to Sort, Locate and Sterilize Surgical Tools.

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