ENDORSE Concept: An Integrated Indoor Mobile Robotic System for Medical Diagnostic Support

ENDORSE Concept: An Integrated Indoor Mobile Robotic System for Medical Diagnostic Support

Panagiotis Vartholomaios (SingularLogic S.A., Dionisos, Greece), Nacim Ramdani (Université d'Orléans, PRISME, Bourges, France), Christophoros Christophorou (CITARD, Nicosia, Cyprus), Dimosthenis Georgiadis (CITARD, Tseri, Cyprus), Thomas Guilcher (StreamVision, Paris, France), Myriam Blouin (StreamVision, Paris, France), Mohamed Rebiai (StreamVision, Paris, France), Andreas S. Panayides (University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus), Constantinos S. Pattichis (Department of Computer Science, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus), Michail Sarafidis (Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS), Zografou, Greece), Vassilia Costarides (Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS), Zografou, Greece), Eleftheria Vellidou (Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS), Zografou, Greece) and Dimitrios Koutsouris (Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS), Zografou, Greece)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/IJRQEH.2019070104

Abstract

Hospitals are considered a field of logistic robotics of high commercial potential and therefore a handful of mobile robot solutions exist. However, they have failed to trigger widespread acceptance by the market. The ENDORSE system will pursue 4 innovation pillars: an infrastructure-less multi-robot navigation, i.e. minimum installation of sensors and communications buses inside the building for the localization of robots, targets and docking stations; advanced HRI for resolving deadlocks and achieving efficient sharing of space resources in crowded environments; the deployment of ENDORSE software as a cloud-based service facilitating its integration with corporate software solutions such as ERP and CRM, complying with GDPR data security requirements; and allowing for reconfigurable and modular hardware architectures so that diverse modules can be easily swapped. ENDORSE functionality will be demonstrated via the integration of an e-diagnostic support module for vital signs monitoring, facilitating connectivity to cloud-based EHR, and validated in an operational hospital environment for realistic assessment.
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Introduction

Autonomous mobile robots for the transport of goods and materials are nowadays a well-established solution in large industrial infrastructures and transit warehouses, where they offer significant economic and administrative advantages. In contrast, in spaces such as hospitals, nursing centers, hotels, museums, malls, commercial spaces, offices and retail stores, which herein for economy of space we call commercial spaces, the use of autonomous robots is very limited. The use of existing robotic systems designed for large industrial and warehouse spaces is not applicable to indoor commercial spaces because of the different specifications and different constraints. A fundamental difference is that large industrial and warehouse spaces are characterized by a very structured and predictable environment where robots move in predefined paths and interaction with humans can easily be avoided. Contrary to the industrial warehouses, commercial spaces are less structured, the environment is much more dynamic, and the interaction with humans is frequent. Also, the load specifications are different and the interior architectural specifications are much more constrained.

Automation of the supply chain in commercial spaces could have a high economic impact because a large number of transfers take place per day in these spaces. For example, in a hospital or a health care center, several tenths of person months annually are spent on transfer of goods, linens, biological samples, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, mail parcels, and of medical waste (more than 850 man-hours per week in a 500 beds hospital) (Ozkil et al., 2009). These transfers are currently carried out manually (by pushing carts for long distances) by nurses or carers. That is a no-added-value job which deprives the patients of valuable nursing services. The same arguments apply to the other commercial spaces listed in the first paragraph. In addition, automation of the supply chain will enable full traceability of the goods and the products from the time of the request till the moment of delivery to the recipient; a well-programmed logistics system will improve the services offered to the end-user (i.e. the hotel customer or the patient and the carer in a hospital) by reducing the response times for each request. Hence, the indoor supply chain is an application that calls for automation and at the same time has high commercialization potential because the involved corporations and organizations hold a huge part of the market, they have specific practical problems, and seek specific solutions for which they are willing to pay.

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