Thursday 22 July 2010

Robots in hospital

Revolutionary hospital robots and cutting edge Agility software

Software company SoftSols Group is helping a hospital in Scotland become the first in Britain to use a fleet of robots to carry out routine deliveries.

The robots at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Stirlingshire will help to keep patient areas free of trolleys and other clutter, reduce infection risks and free up support staff to focus on priorities for patients.

Operating behind the scenes, in specially designed tunnels and lifts, they will also provide a calmer environment, to improve the patient experience.

Supporting this innovative solution is the Agility computerised facilities management Helpdesk system developed by the SoftSols Group. The software is being integrated with the robotic vehicles to monitor their performance delivering and retrieving a wide range of supplies.

The Agility software monitors the robots, generating performance management statistics as part of an automated system, which flags an alert should the robots not deliver on time. Trials of the robots are currently underway ahead of the hospital opening its doors to patients in August this year.

In addition to performance management for the robots Agility is being used to automatically allocate and dispatch porters based on their location in the hospital, take food orders at the bedside and manage a wide range of services including reception, estates maintenance, security and cleaning.
The software has been implemented as part of the hospital’s Facilities Management contract with international service company Serco, who are part of a Project Team led by Forth Health (A joint venture between John Laing and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia) and including Laing O’Rourke as the Design & Construct Partner.

Robin Barter of Serco says, “SoftSols Group rapidly understood the extremely complex requirements of the performance management system and the system interface with the robots, and then expertly translated these into comprehensive specifications and, subsequently, a coherent working system.”

David Hipkin, SoftSols Group Managing Director said, “This cutting edge project is exciting for lots of reasons, not least because it shows how flexible the Agility solution is. It is a whole new area where the software is not just supporting systems; it is enabling innovation and breaking boundaries.”

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