Skip to main content

Baptist Health Puts 'Moxi' to Work

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   October 05, 2022

The Jacksonville health system is deploying two life-sized (and selfie-capable) robots designed to perform tasks for staff and care providers that would otherwise take them away from the bedside.

Jacksonville, Florida-based Baptist Health is using a robot to improve clinical workflows and give patients and visitors 'someone' to snap selfies with.

Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville and Wolfson Children's Hospital have deployed Moxi, developed by Austin, Texas-based Diligent Robotics, to help staff and care providers with tasks that might otherwise take up time away from patients, such as transporting equipment and lab samples and even picking up items left for patients at the front desk.

“Today, our team members spend time retrieving and gathering supplies, medicine and patient items,” Tammy Daniel, DNP, Baptist Health's senior vice president and chief nursing officer, said in a press release. “Moxi’s support will allow them to focus on people as opposed to tasks, and on what they do best: patient care.”

The adult-sized robot, equipped with a gripper at the end of an arm, uses AI technology and an array of sensors to navigate busy hallways without bumping into objects or people, can maneuver through doors and elevators, and learns as it goes. Hospital officials also describe it as "intelligent, dedicated to its job, has expressive eyes, and is happy to pose for selfies."

“We are continually looking for innovative ways to support our team in caring for our patients, which is why I am so pleased to see this project begin,” Michael A. Mayo, DHA, FACHE, the health system's president and CEO, said in the release. “Artificial intelligence combined with robotic process automation in a tool like Moxi provides a way to improve hospital functions – giving our team members time back in their day to work where they are most needed.”

Once called COWs (Computers On Wheels), robots have been used for years for various functions within the hospital setting, ranging from manual pickup and delivery to providing audio-visual communication between patients and care providers in other locations. As the form factor and technology have improved, they've been assigned other duties, and are even being used in remote locations like health clinics, assisted living communities and homes.

[See also: Baptist Health's New Tower Offers the Latest in Critical Care Innovation for Kids.]

Baptist Health is using two Moxi robots, one in Wolfson Children's Hospital and the second in the adjoining J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Tower at Baptist Jacksonville, and officials expect to evaluation their performance in six to eight months. The project is supported by the Reid Endowment for Technology at Baptist Health, established in 2008, and the Miller Electric Technology Endowment at Baptist Health, established in 2014.

Eric Wicklund is the Innovation and Technology Editor for HealthLeaders.

Photo credit: Photo courtesy Baptist health.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Jacksonville, Florida-based Baptist Health is testing out two life-sized robots in pediatric and adult care settings for the next six to eight months.

Known as Moxi, the robots are designed to perform tasks for staff and care teams that would otherwise take them away from the patient's bedside.

The goal of the program is to improve clinical workflows by cutting down on time- and labor-intensive tasks that don't directly involve patient care and giving clinicians more time to be with their patients.


Get the latest on healthcare leadership in your inbox.