NEW DELHI: To reduce direct contact between doctors and patients during the pandemic period, the AIIMS and IIT Delhi have joined hands to create a remote ultrasound robotic arm for radiology procedures.
"During the ultrasound examination, doctors have to sit next to patients. This has been the regular process but became a huge problem during the pandemic. The healthcare workers were having more exposure during the pandemic. The less human contact the better it is. So we at AIIMS along with IIT Delhi researchers decided to make this ultrasound robotic machine. The robot can be controlled from a distance and it works on WiFi," said Dr Chandrashekhara of AIIMS, one of the leading researchers behind the device.
The work for making the machine began June last year. It took around eight months for the team to come up with it. So far, 20 volunteers have been tested with the device at AIIMS and the results were accurate, said Dr Chandrashekhara.
The research team at IIT Delhi was led by Prof Chetan Arora and Prof Subir Kumar Saha. Suvayan Nandi was the lead contributor from Addverb Technologies. The other researchers include Deepak Raina (PMRF Research Scholar, IIT Delhi), Dr Krithika Rangarajan and Dr Ayushi Agarwal, (AIIMS), and Hardeep Singh (Addverb).
"The plan is to use the robot in rural areas as radiologists are not easily available there. If we can set up a robotic arm at a village, then the images from there can be immediately transferred to an expert who is sitting probably many miles away. Our aim is to bring radiology services to patients rather than patients travelling long distances for checkups. We want to take healthcare to people instead of people coming for it in cities," Dr Chandrashekhara added.
"This is first of its kind in India. Similar concepts may have been proposed elsewhere but in the present case we can control the robot without sitting near to it and that makes it special. We are trying to make the
machine more accurate and once it is finalized, we will start implementing it in daily ultrasound procedures. We are hoping to start it very soon," he further said.