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Medical robot lets off-site doctors work quickly to diagnose patients

The Sacramento Bee, May 17, 2013

On any given day inside Mercy San Juan Medical Center's neuro-intensive care unit, a 5-foot-6-inch-tall robot with a computer screen can be seen roaming the halls. The robot, named RP-VITA (Remote Presence Virtual Independent Telemedicine Assistant), is equipped with videoconferencing capabilities so doctors can beam in when there is an emergency. "Before, you couldn't see the patient when an important decision needed to be made," said Dr. Alan Shatzel, a neurologist at the Mercy Neurological Institute. "This has proven to be tremendously valuable."