Talking robot helps stroke patients

CASE GRANDE, AZ -  

A robot known as "Jimmy" roams the hospital rooms at Casa Grande Regional Medical Center.

The purpose of the robot is to help patients in rural areas interact with experts at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.

"Telemedicine was deployed in order to bring the expert to the patient, when they needed it most, where they needed it most as opposed to transferring the patient from the rural community to the large urban neurological center," says Doctor Demaerschalk, a Medical Director at the Mayo Clinic.

Casa Grande Regional Medical Center is one of 11 hospitals to partner with the Telestroke program through Mayo.

One of the most important purposes this robot serves is to cut down on transportation time and cost. Rural hospitals no longer have to transport patients to urban cities with large neurological centers.

Since 2008 robots, like Jimmy, have helped perform over 1,300 emergency Telestroke consultations.

93-year-old Weymouth Fogelberg was one of the patients that used the robot to interact with a doctor after his stroke about two months ago.

"It's amazing at what a remarkable instrument that is. The hospital can only have so many neurologists and you don't have a stroke at everyone's convenience," said Fogelberg.

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