Children’s National Health System Welcomes Dr. Bear Bot

Children’s National Health System, one of the nation’s top five pediatric hospitals and the number one ranked new born care center, received a little extra love this Valentine’s Day at the cardiac ICU’s reveal party for a new InTouch Vita Device. The new telehealth device received an endearing name chosen by patients and staff: Dr. Bear Bot.

The name was revealed to more than 220 patients over the hospital’s closed-circuit television and radio station, WPAW, with many eager patients excitedly listening in.

Dr. Bear Bot connects patients, nurses, and physicians with the executive director of the telemedicine program, Ricardo Munoz, M.D., and a cardiologist and associate medical director of the telemedicine program, Alejandro Lopez-Magallon, M.D. to enable the delivery of efficient, high-quality care through the use of telehealth. Dr. Munoz and Dr. Lopez-Magallon are able to monitor the patient’s vitals from a single, nine-screen virtual command center – remotely driving Dr. Bear Bot into each patients’ room to keep a close eye on those who are recovering from congenital heart surgery, have been flown in for an emergency diagnostic procedure, or who are in the process of receiving a transplant.

“We find the patient-centered platforms and this new technology saves families’ time and we’re looking forward to studying internal models to see how this can help our doctors, enabling us to do even more.” said Shireen Atabaki, M.D., M.P.H., an emergency medicine physician who manages Children’s National’s ambulatory virtual care program.

Over the course of this year, Children’s National will measure and evaluate models of efficiency in the tele-cardiac ICU, but as for this Valentine’s Day morning, Dr. Bear Bot’s main focus was to deliver robot-themed Valentine’s Day cards to the patients of Children’s National.

Although the telehealth device enables local care teams to provide increased access to specialty healthcare in an effort to improve patient outcomes, the device also spreads love and joy to the pediatric patients, keeping spirits high this Valentine’s Day.

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