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Robot to be tested to help people with dementia in Manitoba

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WINNIPEG – Science fiction has long predicted a future in which robots provide health care to humans.

It seems the future has now arrived.

Manitoba is collaborating with Victoria Hospital to study the use of a robot designed for two-way communication between a caregiver and their patient when the caregiver is not at home.

The study with the telepresence robot will look at their use to help people living with dementia as a way to extend home care.

The research is receiving $ 470,000 in funding.

robot announcement

(CTV News Photo Zachary Kitchen)

“Our province is committed to ensuring that our investments in research and innovation are aligned with industry needs and health priorities,” said Ralph Eichler, Minister of Economic Development and Education.

As part of the research, there will also be a research competition starting in the fall.

“What I hope we will be able to do, in the next couple of years, is to have our friend here, the robot that we have here, and we will see how we can adapt it to help people with dementia lead more meaningful, engaged lives in their community.” said Dr. Reg Urbanowski, who is the dean and associate professor for the College of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Manitoba’s Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.

“We believe it is possible to use these telepresence robots as a way to aid communication between people and to connect them to the world. Especially during this period of COVID, we have found that people feel socially isolated, they feel depressed,” he added. .

robot

(CTV News Photo Zachary Kitchen)

Urbanowski, who is the lead researcher on this project, said it is important to have communication and this technology can help with that.

The plan is to have many of these robots and modify them and place them in the homes of people living with dementia.

The hope is that it will help them maintain their home and family life and also save the health system money in the long run.

September is World Alzheimer’s Month, which is a campaign designed to help raise awareness about dementia.

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