Self-driving robotic health clinics that roll right up to patients on the street could one day become a reality.
A new concept dubbed Aim hopes to harness artificial intelligence to improve everyday healthcare, using smart devices in the home as well as a mobile app to keep track of patient data.
With a self-driving clinic, patients could have access to accessible diagnostics even if they can’t make it to the doctor, including thermography, imaging, and breath analysis – and, it could even provide emergency transport if necessary.
Aim, developed by Seattle-based firm Artefact, is designed to help overcome some of the challenges of healthcare, including the common lack of access to patient data as a result of fragmented sources.
‘To solve the interconnected problems in healthcare, we needed a system level approach,’ according to Artefact.
‘What is unique about the concept is less the individual components: a data platform, an autonomous vehicle, AI-powered diagnostics, some of which already exist, but how they connect and interact with each other in a system and experience that allows us to maximize value at the patient, provider, and social level.’
The system would integrate data from Internet of Things devices at home, such as smart watches or fitness trackers and smart mirrors.
It would also rely on self-reporting from the patient, which could be recorded in the mobile app.
In essence, Artefact explains, this creates a unified, ‘patient-owned health record.’
The system also relies on an autonomous clinic, which is equipped with a built-in pressure sensitive scale to measure weight, BMI, balance, and posture, according to the firm.
It also has a seat to conduct acoustic analysis of respiration and cardiac rhythm.
There are also real-time instructions displayed all around, and it allows for telemedicine consults.
In the self-driving clinic, patients can consult a specialist, or receive immediate transport to the emergency room to cut down on the time passed before they have access to treatment.
‘Aim delivers on demand healthcare via a self-driving clinic,’ Artefact explains.
‘This minimizes the logistical burden on the patients and makes them more likely to engage in their care, before conditions and costs escalate.
‘At the same time, Aim helps clinicians focus on the more complex cases, where higher value expertise is needed.’
The concept aims to make health care far more effective and efficient, the firm explains, by better bridging the gap between patients and doctors.