While people such as emergency medical technicians and army medics are true lifesavers, there are times when they could benefit from the resources or expertise of a hospital-based physician. That’s where all-in-one portable telemedicine units like the LifeBot 5 come into play.
Although the device isn’t the only one of its kind, the LifeBot company claims that it is “the world's smallest, lightest, most advanced portable mobile telemedicine system.”
Weighing in at 15 pounds (6.8 kg), it is able to monitor a patient’s heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, plus it is capable of performing electrocardiography and ultrasound. It can also transmit video and audio. Future versions may additionally include a defibrillator.
Data is sent securely via 4G, 3G, LTE, WiMax, cellular, Wi-Fi, satellite, and/or data radio connections – the machine automatically selects whatever system(s) work best for the given situation. Remotely-located doctors are then able to view a patient’s vital signs and other data with a delay of only a few seconds, and offer real-time guidance to the on-site medical personnel. Multiple LifeBot units can also communicate with one another, allowing for collaborative efforts on difficult procedures.
The original version of the device was developed using Department of Defense grants of US$14 million from the Telemedicine and Technology Research Center and U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.
Prices for the LifeBot 5 begin at under $20,000.