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Robots in care - Developments from Spain

  • Market Insight 10 December 2021 10 December 2021
  • UK & Europe

  • Casualty claims

An Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) spin–off, Inrobics Social Robotics S.L.L, has developed a robotic device that can be used in any care setting to assist with motor and cognitive rehabilitation.

The development team has created a platform made up of the following;

  1. A robot that interacts with the patient;
  2. An artificial intelligence system that uses a 3D sensor to control the robot;
  3. An application that can be used by health care staff to set up and track sessions; and
  4. A cloud based storage system which contains information and analytics from the rehabilitation processes.

Professor Fernando Fernandez, Department of Computer Science and Engineering said “The 3D sensor allows us to know the patient’s position at all times.  For example, we know if they are raising their arm, but we also know if they turn their spine to compensate for difficulty when doing so.  All of this information is compiled and entered into the clinical reports that are generated.”

This development could result in a significant improvement in the following areas

  • Paediatrics – children interacting with a robot is like playing with a toy thereby encouraging more engagement with the rehabilitation process;
  • Management information / analytics – the device can measure the degrees of movement of patient’s joints allowing accurate, objective and reliable data.  This data can be used to generate reports for all stakeholders;
  • More rehabilitation sessions – as the robotic device can be used at home this can increase the frequency of sessions resulting in better, faster and more cost effective outcomes;
  • Bespoke rehabilitation – with patient orientated MI this will allow the carer to plan and organise sessions that are more suited to each individual patient.  The robot is able to recognise the patient and create narratives or sessions based on the patient’s preferences.

The Spanish National Hospital for Paraplegics is the first centre to conduct a clinical trial using these artificial intelligence tools with patients who have suffered spinal cord injuries.

“Better, faster and with reduced risk”

A Commission set up by the Technology Enabled Care Services Associate, the industry and advisory body for technology enabled care services across the UK, reported in 2021 that care workers in the UK already had direct experience of robotics that assisted them in preforming their roles “better, faster and with reduced risk”.   One would hope any new robotic device would supplement or enhance the carer’s rehabilitation arsenal.  However one fear is that such devices could in fact make some carer’s redundant which could have its own implications i.e. lack of rapport with the patient, adverse impact on mental health.

It is not yet clear how much the robotic device, developed in Madrid, will cost however such devices could result in an added expense for insurers if claimants argue that such devices should be included within future care packages.


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