11:27 | 04.02.20 | Articles | exclusive 236977

Robin the Robot helps children recover in hospital

Expper Technologies has launched the testing of Robot Robin in healthcare sector. Thanks to the AI-based software, Robin is capable of creating and sharing emotional reactions to interact with humans.

In the pilot stage Robot Robin was introduced at Wigmore Clinic, where it has interacted with over 85 children patients so far.

According to Expper Technologies co-founder Karen Khachikyan, they try to do everything possible to get every child patient to interact with Robin.

 

Khachikyan believes that Robin has brightened up the hospital, which children perceive as a dark, inhospitable world associated with pain and medicine.

“As a rule, while children are in the hospital for days on end, away from usual surroundings, they feel lonely and depressed, which negatively impacts their treatment and recovery. Robin uses its unique approach to get the children out of that depressed state and becomes a companion, which helps the medical staff.

Moreover, during the painful procedures Robin distracts the children and helps reduce the pain-related stress,” underlined Khachikyan, adding that some children had an improvement of appetite after interacting with Robin.

The power of spontaneous conversation

One of Robin’s specific features is the ability to conduct spontaneous conversation with children. The robot easily creates an emotional connection with the patient.

Karen Khachikyan has noted that the robot is very meticulous and it asks the children a wide range of questions about their mood, toys, interests, friends or family, thus learning what worries the children and trying to answer their questions.

Robin eases pain perception

Children patients see Robin as a peer, and according to Karen, they want the robot to “meet” other members of their families.

“Everyone wants to talk with Robin again. We found out that one of our patients even told their parents they wanted to get sick again to talk with Robin. Parents are glad to see the kids’ mood and health improving. They try as they can to comfort their children during hospitalization, but it takes a lot of time and energy. Robin helps with that, providing quick, efficient, long-term effect,” explains Karen.

Interaction with the robot is a novelty for the medical staff as well, but both doctors and nurses welcome Robin’s presence in the clinic.

“The robot helps ease the pain perception among children when we take blood samples or insert catheters, which saves time and prevents stress among the staff. In difficult cases, nurses request Robin themselves. I believe it is the best indicator of how useful the robot is,” said Khachikyan.

Heading to other hospitals

Robin is expected to arrive in Hematology Center after Prof. R.Yeolyan and Nork Marash Medical Center soon.

Karen Khachikyan has added that Expper Technologies plans to launch a new investment stage, aiming to enter into the U.S. market and conduct clinical research in American hospitals.

The company is currently negotiating with Boston Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital of LA to start the research in the summer of 2020.

Narine Daneghyan