China opens first ‘intelligent’ coronavirus hospital equipped with 5G-powered robots offering round-the-clock care for patients
Six different types of droids have taken up posts at the facility to reduce medics’ heavy workload and prevent cross-infection between doctors and patients, according to Chinese media.
The high-tech programme was launched last Saturday at the Wuchang field hospital in Wuhan, Hubei Province of central China.
The intelligent machines can take patients’ temperature and deliver meals to them. They can also patrol and disinfect hospital areas.
A video shows one robot named Ginger, leading a dance routine with a group of hazmat-clad medics while the quarantined patients watch their performance.
The 5G-equipped network also allows the doctors to use the stats-collecting robots and receive live updates of the patients remotely.
This came after the makeshift hospitals in Wuhan, built during the coronavirus outbreak, had required advanced technology to improve their efficiency, according to reports.
The use of the self-driving and self-charging machines could cut down the workload of medics and reduce the risks of cross-infection, according to officials.
Over 3,000 medical staff in Hubei Province have been infected with the deadly disease since the outbreak, according to Chinese officials.
On February 28, Hubei officials teamed up with Chinese Academy of Sciences to deliver the project.
Twelve sets of robotic devices were donated by CloudMinds, a Chinese tech start-up specialising in intelligent robots.
The tech firm, along with the state-owned telecom company China Mobile, built the intelligent system for the hospital within a week.
Another Chinese hospital has started to use two robots powered by artificial intelligence and capable of disinfecting themselves to help treat coronavirus patients.
The pair of droids began to deliver medicine and food to sufferers as well as collecting bed sheets and medical rubbish in the province of Guangdong, said the local health commission.
The killer coronavirus rapidly sweeping the world has now infected over 110,000 people worldwide, with a recent uptick in cases across Europe.
China has confirmed at least 80,735 cases and 3,119 deaths since the virus was first discovered in Wuhan late last year.
In hope of keeping potentially infected patients away from hospitals, Germany has now rolled out drive-thru testing stations.
The move follows the UK and South Korea, where demand for testing has grown in response to escalating epidemics.
An outbreak started on British soil last week and a third person died on Sunday – at least 280 people have already been infected and there are no signs officials will be able to contain the virus from spreading more in the coming days.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is today hosting a Cobra meeting of senior Government ministers to discuss how best to tackle the deadly outbreak.
It comes after sources inside Number 10 last week said officials believe the virus ‘is highly likely that it is going to spread in a significant way’.