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Researchers, Medical Workers Seek Tech Answers to Ebola Outbreak

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Artist's conception of Ebola-related medical data.

A series of workshops will set the scene for robotics researchers to meet with healthcare and aid workers to discuss how technology can help fight Ebola and other dangerous viruses.

Credit: Thinkstock/Thomas W. Geisbert, Boston University School of Medicine

Robotics researchers plan to meet with healthcare and aid workers as part of Safety Robotics for Ebola Workers, a series of workshops to get ideas on how technology can help fight the Ebola outbreak and other dangerous viruses.

The workshops, led by Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Texas A&M University researchers, aim to provide a forum for healthcare workers and technologists to discuss ways to take better care of Ebola patients, help stop the spread of the virus, and protect caregivers from contracting the disease.

"There are many diseases in West Africa that are much more common than the Ebola virus," notes Massachusetts Bureau of Infectious Disease veterinarian Catherine Brown. She says healthcare scientists are overwhelmed with data and could use automated methods of testing for deadly viruses, as well as telepresence technology, sensors to monitor the sterility of an environment, a robotic method to disinfect equipment in specific areas, and an automated way of handling blood being tested in labs.

Massachusetts General Hospital researchers currently are studying remote-monitoring technologies, as well as sensors, tele-operated robots, and camera-based systems that can monitor vital signs without a nurse coming into physical contact with the patient.

From Computerworld
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