The coronavirus pandemic has hit senior living communities and nursing homes particularly hard across the U.S. According to The New York Times, more than 7,000 deaths have occurred to date, approximately 1 of every 6 of today’s 42,000+ total. Not only are the residents more prone to contracting the COVID-19 virus because they may be frail, elderly, or have comprised immune systems, but non-symptomatic employees have unknowingly infected the staff and other residents, too. Restricting visitors and testing all employees are two obvious steps to corralling the disease. But there are five reasons why service robots may offer a safer approach to ongoing care.
1) Relay® Robots For Food Deliveries San Jose robot company Savioke® has made over 600,000 deliveries since 2013. With more than 100 of its Relay® robots installed worldwide at hospitals and hotels, these three-feet-high, 90-lb. service robots are perfect for room service deliveries in senior living communities because they can navigate hallways and operate elevators without having to touch buttons. Besides, robots don’t cough, don’t get sick, and can work 24/7/365 with minimal downtown for recharging.
2) Robots Reduce The Virus Spread “A week or so before the Bay Area’s shelter-in-place orders came out, we saw a spike in business,” said spokesman Bill Booth, Savioke Head of Sales and Marketing. “Calls for our robots have doubled since COVID-19.” “The robots help the hospital staff offload some of the work, while also helping to reduce the spread of the virus,” he continued. “They also help reduce the need for PPE (personal protection equipment) since the robots don’t need any.” Recently, Savioke installed a Relay robot at a Bay Area hotel being used to shelter people exposed to COVID-19, following the request of an emergency management representative for one Bay Area county who had previously seen a Relay robot at an unrelated hotel.
3) Robots Supplement The Caregiver Shortage—For Less With staffs straining to attend to residents and patients because a growing number of them are out sick, Relay service robots can “run errands” in place of a two-legged employee by making deliveries to rooms and different areas of a community, including bedding, towels, meals, beverages, prescriptions, and more—for as little as $3-5/hour. Because these service robots have personalities and are so photogenic, they a great for senior living marketing on social media of the particular communities who adopt them.
4) Robots Can Be Disinfected in Minutes Sterile and thoroughly and safely disinfected multiple times daily with a variety of anti-bacterial cleaning wipes. Using robots can reduce the spread of the coronavirus by mitigating human-to-human contact. This is an important factor vs. employees who are non-symptomatic, but could be infected with COVID-19.
5) Robots for Telemedicine The next roll-out of these robots can be used for telemedicine conferences between patients who are sheltering in place in their rooms and a staff physician or nurse at a senior living community, nursing home, or a hospital. This enables medical staff to check-up on a patient without having to physically be in the same room. Savioke is a start-up with 38 employees that has raised a total of $32 million in funding since it was founded in 2013. It is currently in the process of raising a $10 million C round.
SGD is a San Francisco Bay Area advertising, marketing and branding agency specializing in the senior and boomer markets. We’ve successfully positioned, branded and rebranded companies that market to seniors, weaving traditional and online tactics to create compelling stories that drive response. About the Author: Gil Zeimer is a Creative Director / Copywriter at SGD Advertising.