Remember iRobot's RP-VITA telepresence robot? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared it for operation in hospitals, making it the first of its kind.
The RP-VITA is a telepresence robot controlled by an iPad interface and allows a doctor to "visit" patients and hospital staff remotely. Its navigation is sophisticated to the point where it can be told to go to a specified location without crashing into things at a busy hospital.
Moving around without running into obstacles isn't the only requirement the RP-VITA needed to meet. According to iRobot's press release:
The FDA clearance specifies that RP-VITA can be used for active patient monitoring in pre-operative, peri-operative and post-surgical settings, including cardiovascular, neurological, prenatal, psychological and critical care assessments and examinations.
The FDA's approval of the RP-VITA paves the way for a true Doctors Without Borders initiative and will theoretically give patients access to any doctor in the world, without the expenses of travel.