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Unlocking the Potential of Robotics in Hospitals: Insights from HiPex 2023, Korea

At the Hospital Innovation and Patient Experience Conference 2023 (HiPex 2023), the transformative role of robotics in healthcare organizations took center stage. Experts from Yongin Severance Hospital, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, and Samsung Medical Center shared their experiences, emphasizing the effectiveness of robots as guides and porters.

Yongin Severance Hospital has been at the forefront, actively utilizing various medical service robots since its establishment in 2020. These robots include guide robots, transfer robots, operating room transfer robots, and weight transfer robots. To foster integration, the hospital has even given each robot a name associated with its respective department, creating a sense of belonging.

Dr. Park Jin-young, a psychiatrist and director of the Digital Healthcare Industry Center, emphasized the importance of blending technology seamlessly into medical fields. Robots should not exist for technology's sake but should be well-networked and analyzed to enhance patient care. While robots bring tremendous benefits, it's essential to acknowledge their limitations and ensure realistic expectations.

Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital successfully operated 28 robots last year and plans to expand to 72 this year. These robots were used for outpatient guidance, deliveries, epidemic prevention, non-face-to-face multidisciplinary care, and more. The hospital received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both nurses and patients, highlighting the relief of simple tasks, continued usage, and the essential role of robots in hospitals.

Lee Mi-yeon, a radiation oncologist and head of the Command Center at Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, provided valuable advice for hospitals preparing to adopt robots. Key steps include strategic purchasing, selecting suitable robots for specific services and spaces, building infrastructure such as automatic door interlocking and elevator interlocking, and seeking cooperation from various departments. The aim is to reduce workload rather than burden existing staff members.

Samsung Medical Center primarily employs heavy-duty transport robots and recognizes the importance of staff awareness regarding their location and tasks. Cha Won-cheol, an emergency medicine specialist and head of the Digital Innovation Center, likened robotics, AI, and the metaverse to a trivet, emphasizing their potential application in clinical practice.

While challenges like robot management remain, the speakers collectively expressed optimism. They stressed the significance of managing robots within the departments using them and also highlighted the need for tight cooperation with system integrators and robot specialists during the initial introduction phase.

In Scandinavia today, we have an exceptional opportunity to harness the transformative power of robotic technologies in hospitals, offering solutions to the majority of healthcare challenges we face. By drawing insights from the experiences of hospitals in Korea, the US, and other countries, Scandinavia can empower itself by fostering collaboration among hospitals and exploring customized robot solutions.

Robots in hospitals are not a futuristic concept but a tangible reality that can revolutionize healthcare delivery. As we navigate the challenges ahead, let's learn from successful cases and explore potential solutions. By doing so, we leverage the power of robotics to overcome challenges, reshape the healthcare landscape, and create a more efficient and patient-centric healthcare system in Scandinavia. 💪🌐🏥

#RoboticsInHealthcare #PatientExperience #HealthcareInnovation #ScandinavianHospitals #RobotRevolution

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