Rwanda deploys robots to manage Covid-19 treatment

Rwanda will begin to use humanoid robots at its coronavirus treatment centres to minimise human interaction this week.

The country’s Health minister, Dr. Daniel Ngamije, announced that four CRUZR robots have been tested in treating Covid-19 patients with doctors trained on how to operate them.

The robots will be employed for monitoring patient’s vital signs including temperature, heart rate, blood and oxygen levels and to relay responses to medical teams remotely.

“One robot can screen 200 patients’ temperature in one minute and has videoconference capacity connecting doctors for a live conversation with the patient,” Ngamije says.

The robots are manufactured by Kigali-based Belgian robotic tech firm ‘Zorabots’ and will be deployed throughout the pandemic.

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Its features include facial recognition and mask wearing capabilities, alongside mobile deliveries in and out of the wards, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

The project is being run by Rwanda’s Ministry of Health in partnership with its Ministry of Information and Technology, Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) and Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA).

The cost of the project is yet to be specified.

Rwanda as at Monday, had recorded 285 coronavirus cases with 150 recoveries. No deaths have been recorded.

The country has two main Covid-19 treatment centres—Kanyinya in the capital Kigali and Nyamata in southeastern Rwanda. There are also 48 secondary treatment centres in each district hospital.

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