Robots Advance Telemedicine for Pediatric Patients

Dr. Knight demonstrates the RP Express, another device in CHOC’s telemedicine fleet that travels with the transport team.

Thanks to the power of telemedicine, CHOC Children’s physicians are able to remotely assess and monitor a patient from miles away.

CHOC began integrating telemedicine about seven years ago with the use of remote robots located in the Hoag Hospital Newport Beach Emergency Department, which allowed CHOC doctors to offer consultations for pediatric patients set to be transferred to CHOC, says Dr. Jason Knight, a critical care specialist and medical director of CHOC Children’s Emergency Transport Services.

CHOC is connected remotely to the robots, now also located in the emergency department at Hoag Hospital Irvine, by a control station in its pediatric intensive care unit. In addition, Dr. Knight has a control station at his home, on his laptop and on his iPad so he can communicate with the robot – and help the patient at Hoag – from a variety of locations.

Dr. Knight says both patients and their parents love the robotic concept. The robot, which is about 4 feet tall, displays a picture of the doctor’s face on the top of the device.

“The children think this technology is cool,” Dr. Knight says. “When I introduce myself via the robot as a pediatric specialist, it always puts the parents’ minds at ease because from that point forward, CHOC is involved with their child’s care.”

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