• Thomas M. Hemmerling
  • Nora Terrasini
  • Shantale Cyr


Robots in the acute care environment can be divided into telepresence, pharmacological, and manual robots. Telepresence robots are mobile audio-video-equipped communication stations which allow physicians to communicate with health-care personnel and patients remotely including access to digital patient data. They make access to specialist care possible without direct physical communication. They improve nursing care satisfaction and can improve outcome; they are currently available in many countries for standard care with reasonable cost involved. Pharmacological robots use closed-loop systems to deliver parts of anesthesia, hypnosis, analgesia, or muscle relaxation, or complete anesthesia automatically. They are at present research tools showing better performance than human-controlled anesthesia. The SEDASYS system is the only commercially available closed-loop system; it delivers sedation for colonoscopies in a mixture of closed-loop feedback and physician control. It is controversial because it allows manual change of infusion and bolus application of propofol by non-anesthesiologists. Manual robots are currently under development in the research setting; they assist with manual anesthetic gestures, such as intubation and nerve blocks. Only two of such systems, the Kepler intubation system and the Magellan, have been tested in humans in pilot studies. Telemedicine in the acute care environment has enabled teleconsultation and monitoring, teletherapeutic administration of propofol or general anesthesia across continents. Robotization in the acute care environment has started; the future will see more research in this exciting new field of acute care medicine with more widespread use of current telepresence robots and the introduction of commercially available pharmacological or manual robots into daily practice.


Mean Arterial Pressure Vinci System Patient Site Anesthesia Delivery Telepresence Robot 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas M. Hemmerling
    • 1
  • Nora Terrasini
    • 2
  • Shantale Cyr
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyMontreal General HospitalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.IV Anestesia e RianimazioneOspedale Cisanello PisaPisaItaly

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