Robots are a lot easier to disinfect than human healthcare workers.
To give massively overworked healthcare workers a much-needed break, CNBC reports, China tried something new: staffing an entire field hospital with robots.
The facility, dubbed the Smart Field Hospital, carried out basic screening tasks such as tracking temperature, heart rate and blood oxygen levels, taken care of by robots, courtesy of Beijing-based startup CloudMinds.
The goal: minimize the spread of infection since robots can be easily disinfected and cannot carry diseases, according to the startup's founder.
Patients wore smart bracelets to track their vitals. Other robots tended to patients by bringing them food and drink, as well as medicine. Some robots put on a little dance to keep patients entertained.
A team of researchers even successfully demonstrated a robot that can swab patients' throats remotely, minimizing contact for healthcare workers at the hospital.
"Doctors have found the robots and smart devices helpful in monitoring patient vital signs remotely without direct contact," CloudMinds founder and CEO Bill Huang told CNBC.
Road to Recovery
The Smart Field Hospital is now on standby in case there's a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country, according to CNET. CloudMinds has deployed over 100 robots to Chinese hospitals, hotels and schools.
The news comes after China reported zero new local COVID-19 cases on Thursday. While those figures should be taken with a healthy dose of salt, it's a promising sign that the country is starting its long way to recovery.
More on China: China Reported Zero New Local Coronavirus Cases Yesterday