Lindsay the Robot Continues to Serve

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Ava-logoAn Ava Telepresence robot from Ava Robotics Inc., named Lindsay by nursing staff, has been hard at work at Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Worcester since April of this year.

The robot was introduced to the Beaumont at Worcester community when CEO of Ava Robotics Inc., Youssef Saleh, “came across a story about a nursing home that was going to move Residents out of their facility to open up room to treat COVID-19 patients.” Saleh recalled that he “wanted to reach out to facilities in the area to see how Ava could help.” He contacted SALMON Health and Retirement directly and donated one of the robots “to provide a solution for family visitation.”

Lindsay has been invaluable to the staff and patients there. Medical Director at Beaumont at Worcester, Dr. Randall Morse, stated that having the Ava robot during the height of COVID-19, “allowed for us to decrease our in-person exposure time, provided evaluation when I was not on site or during off hours, and in several instances, allowed for rapid assessment when we needed to determine the best course of action when there was an acute change in patient condition.” While Beaumont at Worcester is no longer a COVID-only facility, there are still some quarantine spaces in place as a cautionary measure.

According to Executive Director at Beaumont at Worcester, Shawn Neville, the robot is “still really helpful in PPE conservation and to any of the patients that need to be in the quarantine areas.”

More recently, Lindsay has proven versatile; Neville reports “she” is also being used by social workers, case managers, and dietitians for care and interviews. The robot acts as the facilitator of care communication—patients and residents are still being cared for on a personal level by staff while Lindsay provides additional safety measures in order to do so.

Vice President of Product and Co-Founder of Ava Robotics, Marcio Macedo states, “It is important to recognize that, while implementing telepresence robots is a functional process, it is a cultural decision for the community. When Ava becomes a part of your team, people across the community become comfortable and enthusiastic about the experience. It’s great to see that adoption as part of Beaumont’s story.”

Both Beaumont’s Medical Director Dr. Morse and Neville say people embrace the robot. “While it can be a little bit of a shock, most of the Residents and patients understand it’s a new world and technology plays a big part,” states Neville. Dr. Morse sometimes prepares them by explaining the robot “is something from the movies, like R2D2, except that I will be on the video screen where a face would typically be.” Dr. Morse notes that most find the robot “amusing and will often laugh, which is great to see, given the situation.” With all of Lindsay’s capabilities, Dr. Morse absolutely envisions using the robot in other settings.

Upon hearing the continual use of the Ava robot at Beaumont at Worcester, Saleh states “We are delighted to hear how confident the staff and residents at Beaumont have felt using Ava to connect and collaborate. The vision of robots co-existing and complementing care for residents is really coming into practice—and will continue to influence the future of healthcare.”

“We look forward to finding out how else Lindsay can continue to help us here. We’re very lucky,” says Neville.

Since 1952, SALMON Health and Retirement has been serving Central Massachusetts. SALMON’s Beaumont at Worcester community is also the nation’s first COVID-19 recovery center for seniors. To learn more about SALMON’s continuum of care with services on multiple campuses and the way in which the organization is fighting COVID-19 head-on, visit www.SalmonHealth.com or call 508-366-3662.