Germany, which has a shortage of healthcare workers, is using robots to care for the elderly. The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigerian and World News
Garumi, a white humanoid robot, looks much like a normal robot, standing on a wheeled platform and equipped with a black screen with two blue circles as eyes.
But Günther Steinebach, 78, a retired German doctor, said, “For me, this robot is a dream.”
Garmi can not only diagnose patients, but also provide care and treatment. Or at least, that’s the plan.
Garmi is part of a new field called Geriatronics, a field that applies advanced technologies such as robotics, IT and 3D technology to geriatrics, gerontology and nursing.
About a dozen scientists built Garmi with the help of practitioners like Steinebach from the Munich Institute for Robotics and Machine Intelligence.
Part of the Technical University of Munich, the institute is based in a unit dedicated to geriatrics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, one of Germany’s ski resorts with the highest proportion of elderly people.
Europe’s most populous country is itself one of the fastest aging societies in the world.
With the number of people in need of care growing rapidly and with an estimated shortage of 670,000 caregiver posts in Germany by 2050, researchers are looking at the tasks currently performed by nurses, caregivers and doctors. We are racing to come up with a robot that can take over part.
“Today, we have ATMs that can withdraw cash. I can imagine that one day, based on the same model, people will be able to get their checkups in a sort of tech hub,” said the lab’s chief scientist. Abdeldjallil Naceri, 43, said.
Physicians can remotely evaluate robotic diagnostics. This is of particular value to people living in remote areas.
Or at home or in a nursing home for more personalized service by serving meals, opening water bottles, calling for help in case of a fall, or arranging video calls with family and friends. You can also provide
“We have to get there”
In the Garmisch lab, Steinbach sat at a table with three screens and a joystick, ready to test the robot’s progress.
At the other end of the room, the researcher designated as the test model sat in front of Garmi, who placed a stethoscope on her chest. An action commanded from a distance by Steinbach via a joystick.
Medical data is instantly displayed on the doctor’s screen.
“Imagine that in my old practice,” Steinebach said, moving the joystick.
In addition to retired doctors, other medical practitioners regularly visit the lab to offer ideas and feedback on the robot.
“It’s like a three-year-old. You have to teach everything,” Naceri said.
No one knows when Garmi will be ready on a commercial scale.
But Naseri is convinced: “We have to get there. The statistics make it clear that it’s urgent.”
“From 2030, we must be able to integrate this kind of technology into our society.”
And if one day it’s actually deployed, the residents of Garmisch’s Sankt Vinzenz Nursing Home, the project’s partner, are likely to see Garmi galloping down the corridors.
Just the thought of it made 74-year-old Rohrer, who lives in the house, smile.
“There are some things that robots can do, like serving drinks or bringing food,” she said as the house’s head, Eva Pioskovic, applied her nails.
Pioskovic, who battles a labor shortage every day, said he never thought robots could replace health workers.
“But it’s possible that staff will be able to spend a little more time with residents,” she said.
One of the primary challenges for Naceri’s team is not technical, medical, or financial.
Rather, it remains to be seen if most patients will accept the robot.
“They have to trust robots,” he said. “They should be able to use it like we use smartphones today.”