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Oroville Hospital Recruits Autonomous Robot for Specialized Teleneurology Care

Oroville Hospital patients can soon expect to see another addition to the hospital’s medical staff in the form of an autonomous robot named RED for Remote Examination Device. Developed by InTouch Health and iRobot, RED enables patients to undergo a consultation with a teleneurology specialist remotely 24/7, leading to faster diagnoses and treatments for patients experiencing a stroke or traumatic brain injury.

“We are always searching for ways in which we can provide the best quality care and service for our patients,” said Robert J. Wentz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oroville Hospital. “This cutting edge technology can connect patients to a board certified neurology specialist at a moment’s notice, providing greater access to care and immediate treatment decisions during time-sensitive emergencies.”

Led by Neurologist John Schmidt, MD and an award-winning stroke response team1, Oroville Hospital provides emergent neurologic evaluations for 12 to 14 patients per week, during all hours of the day. Previous neurology consults were conducted over the phone with tertiary health systems such as UC Davis, Stanford and UCSF.

With the addition of RED to its medical staff, Oroville Hospital is able to evaluate patients without delay and provide a more accurate and comprehensive consultation process using real-time audio and visual cues. The specialist is able to navigate the robot throughout the hospital to a patient’s room or consult with nurses and physicians directly using a connected computer with high quality video conferencing capabilities and telehealth consultation group VeeMed’s cloud-based, secure Provider Access Software. Teleneurology specialists will have access to a patient’s clinical data and medical imaging records to be able to make informed decisions about patient care immediately.

“We don’t let the fact that our hospital is located outside of Sacramento or San Francisco hinder our ability to provide the best technology and care for our patients,” said Mark Heinrich, DO, Director of Emergency Services and Chief Medical Officer of Outpatient Clinics. “The ability to connect quickly with a neurology expert means that no time is wasted when it comes to critical care treatment. For a patient experiencing a stroke or traumatic brain injury, delayed treatment can mean permanent brain function lost.”

While RED will initially be used for teleneurology patient services, Oroville Hospital eventually plans to incorporate consultations with telehealth specialists in many fields using this vital service. By increasing access to a variety of specialties not currently available at Oroville Hospital, administrators and medical providers are able to give patients needed care within their community, while reducing the need for travel. Patients can quickly begin their journey to wellness without delay, reinforced by Oroville Hospital’s dedication and commitment to excellent care.

1 “Oroville Hospital Earns Stroke Achievement Award.” 5 May, 2017.  

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