In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan’s Brain Navi recently developed a new robot to perform nasal swab tests autonomously to prevent cross infections, with the aim to protect healthcare workers and reduce strain on health systems. Founded in 2015, the company says it is “focused on designing and developing a medical device that can assist surgeons during their medico-surgical interventions.”
The newly developed Brain Navi Nasal Swab Robot helps to reduce staff-patient contact with highly infectious diseases at the point of testing by autonomously navigating and safely collecting patient samples. The robot automatically recognizes the patient's facial structure and the nostril's location independently and gently takes the samples to avoid close contact with patients.
According to Brain Navi, the Nasal Swab Robot uses some fundamental functions of NaoTrac, a neurosurgical navigation robot, also developed by the company, which claims it has successfully performed 15 human trial cases at the Hualien Tzu-Chi Medical Center.
The Brain Navi Nasal Swab Robot was presented in public for the first time during the Bio Asia Taiwan 2020 exhibition at the end of July. The robot’s application review of the Ministry of Health and Welfare's clinical trial in Taiwan has been approved and the company in the process of approval in the US FDA for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and Taiwan TFDA.
THE LARGER TREND
Given the highly infectious nature of the COVID-19 virus, minimizing human contact is one way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and technologies such as the use of robots to perform certain repetitive tasks can not only reduce infection risks for healthcare workers and staff, but also reduce the use of precious manpower.
For instance, Omron launched a LD-UVC robot which navigates autonomously and disinfects premises including the high-touch areas by eliminating 99.90% of bacteria and viruses -both airborne and droplet- by delivering the precise dosage of UVC energy, MobiHealthNews reported.
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has introduced eight “smart” robots made by Danish company, UVD Robots to sterilize its government-run hospitals and clinics, according to a Healthcare IT News report in July.