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Multi-Tower Robot will increase quality of care

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An innovative patient-lifting robot is developed in a new PPP collaboration between University Hospital Køge and Blue Ocean Robotics to perform gentle and effortless transfers of patients without the use of fixed overhead lifts.

When the new University Hospital in Køge, south of Copenhagen, opens in 2020, mobile robots will be a regular sight in the hallways and patient rooms, when patients are being moved. One in four hospital admissions include a non-self-reliant patient who requires personnel assistance in patient transfer. Transfer of patients lay claim on a lot of the human resources available, and is often associated with risk of work related injuries to hospital personnel and limited patient safety. With more than 60,000 hospitalizations per year the hospital in Køge will become more efficient by using patient-lifting robots - and this without the use of fixed overhead lifts. 

The new Multi-Tower Robot is a robotic healthcare solution from the Danish company Blue Ocean Robotics developed in a PPP collaboration (Private Public Partnership) with the University Hospital Køge. The robot is a contribution to the improvement of quality level, resource utilization and general welfare development in the Danish healthcare system. 

The Multi-Tower Robot is a mobile, flexible and modular patient-lifting robot intended to be used primarily in hospital patient rooms and in correlated situations where patient-moving is required. The versatile design and flexibility of the Multi-Tower Robot also enables utilization in other hospital environments and user scenarios, like lavatory visits, showering, outpatient clinics, bed transports, etc. The robot is easy to adapt and move from one location to another and can be pulled over a patient’s bed, when a patient is being moved. Build in sensors enables the robot to navigate around eventual obstacles. Features that also makes the robot suitable in the primary health care sector and in patients own home.  

- I see great potential in equipping bed- and treatment areas with patient-lifting robots like this. This will enable better service for our patients and a safer working environment for our employees, says Helle Gaub, Project Director at Project University Hospital Køge.  

Advantageous for both patients and personnel

The new patient-lifting technology meets several current challenges. The robot technology will assist in providing a better working environment for hospital personnel, increase safety for patients and support an optimal use of resources available.  

- The hospitals are experiencing an increased number of patient treatments and a focus on financial efficiency improvements throughout the healthcare sector. Treatments are carried out by the hospital personnel every day and they are doing a great job, but it requires a high level of both physical and mental strength. It is therefore extremely important that we are in close dialogue and in collaboration with the operational personnel in developing technological applications, that can assist both personnel in their daily tasks and help patients quickly regain strength, says Anja Hald, Senior Business Developer at Blue Ocean Robotics. 

Because the Multi-Tower Robot has a greater flexibility and mobility than today's overhead lifts, the solution provides improved patient safety and is expected to limit patient accidents, e.g. when patients lose their balance. With improved patient safety, patient-perceived quality levels can be optimized and contribute to a more efficient health care system, by reducing the average length of stay per hospital admission.

- Without the opportunity of close collaboration, which is enabled in Public-Private Partnerships – PPP - it is not possible to develop usable and useful technology like this. It furthermore adds to a better utilization of the resources available in the healthcare sector, says Anja Hald.

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Blue Ocean Robotics is member of Welfare Tech. 

Supported by

Welfare Tech is funded by The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation under the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science, Syddansk Vækstforum (regional development fund) and The European Regional Development Fund.

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