AIIMS taps robots and telemedicine to cut contact risk

The institute, ranked the best in the National Institute Ranking Framework by the government, is using robots to sanitise and clean the areas used by Covid-19 patients, including intensive care units.

NEW DELHI: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has deployed robots to handle Covid-19 patients at its medical facility in Jhajjar and it is gearing up to introduce robots at its main hospital in Delhi as well, as part of efforts to step up use of technology including telemedicine during the pandemic. “As Covid-19 is highly contagious; we are limiting the contact of medical staff with patients, with the use of not only robots but also telemedicine at AIIMS facilities,” Randeep Guleria, director, AIIMS, told ET.

The institute, ranked the best in the National Institute Ranking Framework by the government, is using robots to sanitise and clean the areas used by Covid-19 patients, including intensive care units. It is also evaluating whether to use robots to serve food and handle medical supply to Covid-19 patients at Jhajjar.

“We are open to using technology to limit exposure of doctors and other staff members to the infection,” said Guleria. Besides, AIIMS doctors are providing consultation to patients on non-Covid-19 ailments through telemedicine. With Delhi reporting more than 1,500 Covid-19 positive cases, the highest among all cities in the country, hospitals in the national capital need to pull out all the stops to deal with the crisis.


Another quarantine facility for Covid-19 patients, readied by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police at the Central Armed Police Forces referral hospital in Greater Noida, is also planning to use robots to serve food and medicines to patients, according to people aware of the matter. This facility has yet to open for Covid-19 patients.

Gurgaon-based Hi-Tech Robotic Systemz is providing robots to the ITBP-run facility in Greater Noida to serve food and medicines to patients on one of the five floors at the referral hospital. “We are trying robots at this facility and may extend their use in other facilities too to limit human contact,” said an ITBP spokesperson.

“Our mobile robots will be assisting healthcare professionals in attending to quarantined patients while keeping them safe from possible risk of infection,” said Anuj Kapuria, CEO, Hi-Tech Robotic Systemz.
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According to Kapuria, each robot costs about ?15 lakh and the company is also in discussions with Apollo Hospitals to sell these robots.
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