Meet Quinton: Tygerberg Hospital's new ‘staff member’ for COVID-19 patients

The two-wheeled bot named Quinton will help reduce the time doctors are physically present with infected patients. Clinical Training Facility

Intensive-care specialists at Tygerberg Hospital have a new infection-resistant 'colleague' helping them do ward rounds on COVID-19 patients. Picture: Stellenbosch University/Facebook

CAPE TOWN - Tygerberg Hospital now has a robot to help doctors remotely check on COVID-19 patients.

The two-wheeled bot named Quinton will help reduce the time doctors are physically present with infected patients.

However, it will still allow them to provide clinical guidance.

Quinton is a Double Robotic ‘robot’ that features a base with two wheels and an extendable rod with a computer tablet as its “head”.

The height of Tygerberg Hospital’s new infection-resistant team member can be adjusted depending on what the physician needs to see.

The bot hails from the Sunskill at Stellenbosch University’s Medical Campus that is used to upskill surgeons.

Neurosurgery division head and Sunskill manager Professor Ian Vlok said the robot helped them to manage patients in a high-risk environment and reduced risk to staff.

“I think what I must emphasise is that this is not a replacement for a position, the guys in the frontline still gear their kits and still go and see the patients. But this is to help decrease the exposure to any members.”

Quinton also features a microphone that enables doctors to communicate with patients.

It also has a camera with a zoom function that helps physicians to check on the patient’s vital signs from their home or office.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.