Robotic telepresence: A helpful adjunct that is viewed favorably by critically ill surgical patients

Joseph F. Sucher, S. Rob Todd, Stephen L. Jones, Terry Throckmorton, Krista L. Turner, Frederick A. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study was to assess how surgical intensive care unit (SICU) patients and their families would perceive robotic telepresence. We hypothesized that they would view such technology positively. Methods: This research was an Institutional Review Boardapproved prospective observational study. Our robotic telepresence program augmented the SICU multidisciplinary team rounding process. We anonymously surveyed patients and their families on their perceptions. Those who interacted at least once with the robot served as our participant base. Results: Twenty-four patients and 26 family members completed the survey. Ninety-two percent of respondents were comfortable with the robot, and 84% believed communication was "easy." Ninety percent did not perceive the robot as "annoying" and 92% did not believe that "the doctor cared less about them" because of the robot. Ninety-two percent of respondents supported the continued use of the robot. Conclusions: Robotic telepresence was viewed positively by patients and their families in the SICU. Furthermore, they believed the robot was beneficial to their care and indicated their support for its continued use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-847
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Intensive care unit
  • Robotic telepresence
  • Tele-ICU
  • Telemedicine
  • Telerounding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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