Automated Guided Vehicles,  COVID precautions

AGVs in Healthcare Industry

Yesterday, one of our engineers came across a short video clip while scrolling through the news. It was that of a robot serving food to the corona virus affected patients in China. He immediately showed this to a few of us colleagues. Such a great concept, such a noble cause! Who would have thought that in this dreadful spell of corona virus scare, robots can come handy this way? The wheels in our heads started spinning. We had always said that AGVs can help in medical sector. In fact, they are being used in hospitals across various countries since as early as 1980s. In today’s topic AGVs in Healthcare, let us see the applications and benefits of AGVs in healthcare facilities like pathology labs and hospitals.

  • As already mentioned above, robots are the best helpers for patients in quarantine. They act as a safety net between the patients and the hospital staff by not letting the staff come into direct contact with such patients. This can not only help to control the viral infections spread through air, but also the bacterial infections which are spread through contact. Quarantine departments are usually a bio hazard, wherein even serving food also becomes a big problem. Not just the doctors, even nurses and cleaning staff have to wear protective suits before entering these wards. There are also a number of infectious diseases for which patients are kept in special isolated wards. AGVs can help deliver food, medicines to patients in such wards.

  • AGV is small in size and easy to sanitize. We have already established this in our article about RAGHAV being used to improve hygiene conditions in pharmaceuticals. Naturally, it can be used in sterile environments like operation theatres, labs and ICUs. Reduced human interaction decreases the chances of outside germs entering these facilities thus protecting the patients from harmful infections.
  • AGVs can carry very heavy loads measuring in tonnes. So along with the movement of linen, trash, food and medicine they can also carry the heavy machinery used in advanced healthcare from one place to other. Many times, X-ray machines are required to be shifted from room to the operation theatre. High risk life support equipment have to be shifted from one department to other according to the patient needs. Although this seems a difficult job for us humans, it can be done within no time with the help of our AGVs.
  • Hospitals and laboratories are continuously producing hazardous waste. Carrying this waste from collection area to the safe disposal area is a crucial but difficult task. The people doing this are always on high risk even though they wear safety apparatus. AGVs can come very handy for disposing off such hazardous waste.
  • AGVs are well equipped with multiple collision sensors. They can move through doors, lifts and ramps. This makes them 100% safe to operate along with humans in sensitive places like hospitals. Being small in size they hardly occupy any floor space while on the run and can simultaneously move alongside people without any difficulty.
  • Lastly, AGVs are completely autonomous. So, once you feed the path, they can run on their own without any help. Moreover, they can work 24X7 without any breaks. These features are definitely an added advantage for critical places like hospitals and labs where time is of utmost importance.

From our discussion above, we can certainly say that if used wisely, AGVs are a blessing for healthcare industry as they can effortlessly do all those jobs which currently human workers do by being at health risk. Can you think of any other benefit that we might have missed?

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