Robots and AI to transform hospitals' resilience to disasters


A team from the University of Warwick has been awarded funding from the European Commission for research that may help to redesign the hospital of the future.

Dr Leandro Pecchia from the university's School of Engineering, has been awarded €13 million for the ODIN project, which will explore the use of robots and artificial intelligence to help ease the pressures facing hospitals. This will also be crucial in the recovery from COVID-19 and help any other future disasters.

Hospitals around the world need to increase their efficiency and productivity and boost quality and safety, while containing and reducing costs. The resulting cuts over many years have damaged the capability of health services to respond to and deal with a disaster such as COVID-19, leaving hospitals across the European Union completely unprepared to fight the pandemic. For instance, it is reported that the number of ICU beds per million of EU population has reduced by 75% in the past 30 years.

Dr Leandro Pecchia and his team have identified 11 critical challenges which ODIN will address. It will aim to empower workers using Artificial Intelligence (AI), introduce autonomous and collaborative robots for enhancing hospital efficacy and safety and introduce and enhance medical locations and medical device management through the Internet of Things (IoT) and video analytics.

The project will include clinical and logistical procedures, such as patient management, medical device and PPE management, disaster preparedness and hospital resiliency.

The vision of the project is to revolutionise hospital management through the use of data-driven procedures.

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