Bahrain has deployed two Covid-fighting robots in isolation wards to help frontline health workers deal with the ongoing pandemic.
The robots – which speak 12 languages – can check body temperatures, administer medicines, serve meals and sterilise treatment rooms by emanating pulses of ultraviolet light.
The AI-powered machines, capable of identifying patients using facial recognition, can respond to voice commands from staff.
Dr Waleed Al Manea at Bahrain’s Health Ministry said: “We have started using robots in the isolation and treatment facilities as part of the experimental phase to use AI in the health sector.
“This new technology will help doctors and nurses as they can evaluate the effectiveness of the robots and help incorporate them in their daily work.”
Following an initial pilot phase, Bahrain – the world’s fifth in testing rates – plans to roll out robots across hospitals nationwide.
In the wake of the pandemic, Bahrain has taken a series of steps which include the launch of a dedicated tracking app for registered Covid-19 cases, with isolating patients required to wear tamper-proof bracelets monitoring their location.
A quarter of the country has now downloaded the ‘BeAware’ app, which automatically alerts users if they come into contact with an active Covid-19 case. Other initiatives have included converting public buses into mobile testing units and rapidly building field hospitals for the treatment of cases.
On March 19, Bahrain became the first Arab country to join the WHO’s Solidarity Trial, aiming to pool resources to produce a treatment for the disease.
As of May 20, 2.30pm local time, Bahrain has a total of 4,497 active Covid-19 cases, of whom nine are in a critical condition.