Robot gets FDA’s ‘affirmative’ for use in hospitals

The FDA has given 510(k) clearance to an autonomous, remote-presence robot for use in hospitals. The approval specifies that the robot can be used for active patient monitoring in preoperative, perioperative and postsurgical settings, including cardiovascular, neurological, prenatal, psychological and critical care assessments and examinations.

RP-VITA (Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant) is a joint effort between Bedford, Mass.-based iRobot and Santa Barbara, Calif.-based InTouch Health. The robot combines autonomous navigation and mobility technologies, which were developed by iRobot with telemedicine and EHR integration developed by InTouch Health.

RP-VITA allows remote doctor-to-patient consults, maps its own environment and uses sensors to autonomously move about a space. Using an iPad interface, a doctor can visit a patient and communicate with hospital staff and patients, regardless of their location.