Low-Cost Tele-health Robots to Improve Healthcare Safety and Patient Well-being During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for hospitals, patients, and healthcare workers–but a team of researchers from UC San Diego is here to help. Professors Laurel Riek (Computer Science & Engineering), Leslie Oyama (Emergency Medicine), Alan Card (Pediatrics), along with Lesley Wilson (UCSD Health’s Associate Chief Experience Officer) will design, deploy, and evaluate a new fleet of low-cost telepresence robot to 1) Help clinicians provide better and safer care to patients who may have COVID-19, and 2) Enable families to see and communicate with their loved ones in the hospital. The research team will test the impact of the robot on the quality and safety of care, patient well-being, and healthcare worker well-being.

Thanks to the UCSD Institute for Engineering in Medicine for supporting this pilot project.


Matsumoto, S., Moharana, S., Devanagondi, N., Oyama, L., and Riek, L.D. “Iris: A Low-Cost Telemedicine Robot to Support Healthcare Safety and Equity During a Pandemic”. (2021). Proceedings of the 15th Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (PervasiveHealth). [pdf