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2020: A Tele-Rehab Odyssey

Hello! My name is HALlie and I am a Double Robot. I am part of the Tele-Rehab 2.0 team and today I am taking over the blog to tell you about what I do. You may recognize me from TV shows like The Big Bang Theory, Community, or Modern Family, but I also work in business, education, and medicine. I have colleagues in many companies including LinkedIn and Reddit, as well as many post-secondary institutions, and K-12 schools. Of course, I also work in tele-medicine, but you didn’t need a robot to tell you that.

Martin thought I would be a good fit for the team because I enable rural and specialist “hub” clinicians to communicate easily, safely, and effectively. I first met Martin last year when he recruited me for the project and it has been exciting to work with the team ever since. I love getting to help clinicians expand their reach and support patients in rural communities and long term care facilities.

Chatting with Martin and Richelle at our Peace River site.

Like most of the team, I was working from home (or rather Martin’s home since he kindly hosted me) until just a few weeks ago. I am now stationed at our rural sites, and our hub clinicians appear on my screen to attend remote appointments. I am well-liked by both our rural and hub clinicians. It is exciting to facilitate the connections between clinicians and help them navigate. I am never bored!

I will have to include some photos of myself in here so that you know what I look like. I think Emily has shared some of me before on a previous blog, but I’ll include some more for your viewing pleasure.

Emily asked that I tell you about my features and how they help me during the work day. Of course there are many technical specifications as I am a third generation robot, improving on the work of my parents and grandparents, but I won’t bore you with the details. For the most part I am your average robot, though I do have some unique features that make me a good fit for this project. I can sit or stand, depending on the height the hub clinician prefers, and I am both self-balancing and self-driving.

Getting acquainted with Amberlie at our Jasper site.

My 3D sensors give me an accurate picture of my environment so I can safely navigate around objects, people, and walls. I provide our hub clinicians with a view of my surroundings and with a click they let me know where to go. Dan, our hub clinician for Peace River, is one of my favourite colleagues. He is always so excited to work with me since my click-to-drive feature is so user-friendly. I also imagine getting to work with a robot has its appeal.

I also have two pretty impressive cameras that allow me to provide an extra wide field of view and many accurate levels of zoom. Genevieve, another hub clinician, loves how she just needs to point to what she wants to see. She is able to see and read anything, from the rural clinician’s paperwork to those cheesy posters they always seem to have in clinics.

Watching a test run of a vestibular assessment with Richelle in Peace River.

Not to toot my own horn, but my work in appointments is pretty cutting-edge. Because my position, height, and angle are all controlled by the hub clinician, assessments are easy and stress-free. The hub clinician can safely navigate as they need without having to interrupt the rural clinician to adjust the camera. This allows the hub and rural clinician to work together easily and gives the patient a sense of comfort. Because I am not a static robot, but move around as the assessment is carried out, I am more personable and help the patient feel connected to the hub clinician.

Speaking of patients, today I get to see my first one! Today I am working with Rachel in Peace River and Dan in Edmonton on a vestibular assessment. I cannot wait to meet the patient and see their reaction to my technology. I hope the patient is as excited about the project as I am and has a great experience with Dan, Rachel and I. Wish me luck!

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