Kobe, Japan, is turning to robots to help increase the city’s PCR testing capabilities for Covid-19.
The initiative, set to go live in October 2020, is a collaboration between Kobe city and medical robot manufacturer Medicaroid. The idea is to reduce the risk of infection for medical personnel while also increasing the city’s current testing capabilities by up to four times.
This use of robots for PCR testing will be the first of its kind in Japan and will allow doctors to control the robots remotely to collect saliva samples while communicating with patients via an attached monitor. The robots will also be capable of to delivering/removing meals and taking body temperature readings.
Medicaroid President, Yasuhiko Hashimoto, said: “Robotics is one industry in which Japan excels. The testing system that we are starting in Kobe has the potential to benefit the rest of the world.”
With the city already working with Sysmex and the Kobe Medical Association, this new collaboration with Medicaroid will be the third measure Kobe has taken to expand its PCR testing capabilities in the face of potential second and third waves of Covid-19.