Machines Treating Patients? It's Already Happening
Rayfield Byrd knows when it’s time to wake up every morning. The 68-year-old Oakland, Cal., resident hears a voice from the living room offering a cheery good morning. Except Byrd lives alone.
A little after 8 a.m. each day, a small yellow robot named Mabu asks Byrd how he’s doing. Byrd has Type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure, and about three years ago, he had surgery to implant a microvalve in his heart to keep his blood flowing properly. To stay healthy, he takes four medications a day and needs to exercise regularly. To make sure his heart is still pumping effectively, his doctor needs to stay on top of whether Byrd gets short of breath.
But instead of checking in with his doctor all the time, Byrd now talks with Mabu every morning — and sometimes again later in the day. “Mabu keeps me on my toes about remembering to take my medicine,” says Byrd. “And she asks if I’ve had any shortness of breath and other questions pertaining to my health. She keeps me aware of my breathing.” READ MORE ON: TIME