Egypt's COVID-19 robot hospital assistant might just save lives

With Egypt facing a second coronavirus wave, Mechatronics engineer Mahmoud el-Koumi is currently carrying outtrials on a self-funded prototype for a remote-controlled robot to assist physicians in running tests on suspected Covid-19 patients.

The move is in a bid to limit human exposure to disease-carriers, at a private hospital in Egypt's Nile Delta city of Tanta.

"Before starting its mission, the robot receives training to improve its AI. The training is done by a specialist doctor, the AI in this training acts like a human doctor."

The accomplished engineer explains the early stages of the trial process.

The robot called Cira-03 sports a human-like face and head to put patients at ease and can carry out an array of medical procedures — including take blood tests and temperatures, perform echocardiograms and X-rays, and display the results to patients on a screen attached to its chest.

The smart health assistant administers these diverse tasks all the while reminding them to wear their masks.

The Cira-03 AI has also been developed to perform pain-free PCR swab tests.

Mahmoud el-Koumi attempts to share the inner workings of the robot's features.

"This robot is specially designed to help the medical staff during Covid-19 times. It is a medical robot capable of multi-tasks, it can deal with patients in their beds, chest scans, fever screening, and face mask detection."

Mahmoud el-Koumi reports positive feedback from patients.

Perhaps more good news for Egypt which was one the first African country's to kick off its COVID-19 nationwide vaccination campaign with China's Sinopharm and has administered 1,315 doses as of March 4, according to the World Health Organization.

The North African nation reports around 196,061 confirmed coronavirus cases with about 150,424 recoveries.


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