TRU Community Care in Lafayette was the host to the unveiling of a brand new technology in the medical field — a humanoid robot that can perform basic medical tasks.
Beyond Imagination, an AI company based out of Colorado Springs, visited the Lafayette hospice center to test out the robot, named BEOMNI.
“We are excited that TRU sees the almost limitless potential of our humanoid robots in health care and has agreed to run this first pilot study with us. We look forward to partnering with them to bring a highly effective solution to market,” said inventor and CEO Dr. Harry Kloor.
The robot is controlled remotely using VR technology, so that doctors and specialists can see patients who are miles away. However, the physical presence of a robotic aid such as BEOMNI can make up for gaps that are present in current telehealth technology, such as physically touching and administering care to a patient.
As the technology develops, Beyond Imagination is hoping to incorporate BEOMNIS into other aspects of everyday care, offering an alternative to modern-day nursing homes and round the clock care centers.
Annually, the average cost of a nursing home in Colorado can cost around $100,000 for an individual patient; Whereas the cost of a BEOMNI aid would come out to far less than that, says Dr. David Wensel, Chief Medical Officer of TRU Community Care.
The need for a humanoid robot in the medical field is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the staffing shortage in the medical field, according to Wensel.
The pilot study took place from Nov. 9-12 in order to determine how the robot would fare in a real-world medical setting. The robot can perform tasks such as taking temperature using a thermometer, looking into a patient’s mouth using a tongue depressor and a flashlight, and even dance with patients — although long-term capabilities are expected to extend far beyond that.
This particular robot is a ‘version one,’ but is equipped with AI technology that will help the robot learn as it goes.
Another plus about BEOMNI humanoids in the health care field? “They can’t get COVID!” says Kloor.
BEOMNI robots are expected to be on the market in the next couple of years. For more information on Beyond Imagination and BEOMNI, visit beomni.ai.