US plays an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with COVID-19 and provides an important basis for formulating treatment strategies. Recently, the rapid development in the applications for tele-operated robots provided a feasible solution for remote examinations. The remote US auxiliary system is an advanced diagnostic technology that not only has the advantages of dynamic observation and no radiation damage but also has a reduced risk of infection of medical personnel because it is operated from a distance. For the first time to our knowledge, we report the use of a robotic tele-echography system for US examinations of patients with COVID-19 and explore its potential application in the outbreak of this disease. The Robotic Tele-Echography System An MGIUS-R3 robotic tele-echography system produced by MGI Tech Co, Ltd (Shenzhen, China) was used to conduct a remote US diagnosis of the patient. The system is composed of a physician site and patient site.
The doctor site is a workstation with a console, 2 imaging monitors, and a fictive transducer. One monitor displays the US images, and the other is for the display of the patient’s examination position and real-time audio and video. The physician can conduct a real-time video conversation with the patient or an assistant at the patient site to obtain a detailed history and guide the patient to adjust his or her position for the examination. The fictive transducer can control the robotic arm remotely and precisely.
The patient site includes a US device and a 6°-of-freedom robotic arm with a force sensor equipped with convex and linear array transducers. The movements communicated to the fictive transducer are transmitted in real time to the US transducer, which is fixed on the robotic arm, and this is how the physician located at the expert site can perform the examination remotely, as if he or she were near the patient. The US device is similar in size to a conventional US machine and has wheels so that it can be easily pushed to the side of the patient’s bed for the examination.
Reference & Source information: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/
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