For the past few months we’ve been playing with a new toy at work, a Double Robot. You might be familiar with these, they’ve made appearances on Million Dollar Listings NY and Modern Family as shown below, but we’ve been looking at what their potential applications are in our businesses.
The immediate use cases are pretty apparent, I’ve been out of the country for over 100 nights this year, so having the option of being able to attend meetings in my robot form has been really useful. It’s similar but different to using Skype or one of the many video conferencing tools available, the key difference being I’m able to be mobile and roam around the office or meeting room, controlled via an app on my phone.
We’ve also had other team members utilise it to attend meetings or events that they haven’t physically been able to get to, one of our managers was able to be present at the most recent Epic National Managers Day courtesy of Double, which allowed her to move around the room, interacting with colleagues.
Our events partner is based in Melbourne, but was able to do a site visit at the Convention Centre before last weeks Christmas party via Double, which saved her the cost and time of a flight up for that purpose.
We think there is a role for this type of technology in healthcare as well. Imagine a pharmacist in a remote or rural hospital being able to take a distant colleague with specialist skills on a ward round, engaging in chats with the patients as they go and ensuring that they get the visual perspectives they need to help guide the advice given. Other opportunities could include giving a patient a tour of one of our cancer care facilities via the robot before they come in for their first treatment to ease anxieties about what to expect. Equally taking a robot into a patients home and having a remote colleague tour with you could be of great assistance to care teams when assessing the best ways to provide support.
While the Double certainly initially attracts attention, the reality is we’re all so used to chatting to friends and family via FaceTime and Skype these days that the conversation becomes natural very quickly.
The more we play with it the more ideas for use case scenarios we get, and I can’t wait to see what else the team come up with. Just seeing things done in a different way sparks new ideas, often completely unconnected to the original concept, and that’s a great way to continue to grow a culture of innovation.
It doesn’t take long for those ideas to present, and while I don’t know that dressing the robot up in a tiara is going to have a significant impact on the way we deliver healthcare, it certainly made for a lot of amusement in the office!