What happens when you bring a robot to an Ebola Ward

Vecna Cares

In November, with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa showing no signs of slowing, the list of people climbing aboard planes to Liberia and Sierra Leone was not terribly long. Deborah Theobald, the co-founder of Cambridge-based health care company Vecna Technologies, was one of them. Accompanying her were two new tools that, it was hoped, could aid health workers trying to care for stricken patients.

One was a briefcase-sized electronic medical record system, a field-ready version of a product that Vecna Technologies designed to digitally store and share patient information. The other was “telepresence” robot made by New Hampshire company VGo Communications — a camera and recording system on wheels that could be controlled from afar by an iPad app, meant to help nurses talk to each other across containment zones.

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