Brian Rosman, MD, is the current Robotic Surgery Research Fellow in the Department of Urology at Boston Children’s Hospital. He focuses on applying modern technology to improve the practice of medicine.
When I entered the MIT Health and Wellness Innovation “hackathon,” it wasn’t with high hopes. I felt our team from Boston Children’s Hospital had a solid idea to develop, but I’d taken part in similar collaborations that fell victim to personal disputes, group member apathy and overzealous leadership. This time I was wrong.
The idea we brought to the 10-day event/competition, sponsored by MIT Media Lab, was a mobile telecommunication robot that could monitor children in their homes after surgery. Our mobile robot, the VGo, has the potential to be a great tool, but when we’re not using it to make remote visits, it just takes up space in the patient’s house.
We felt the robot could be enhanced if the family could interact with it to ask questions, through some type of artificial intelligence, while the child played with some kind of game or character that would help them stay on their post-operative regimen.