Why hospitals shouldn’t use telepresence robots to deliver devastating news

Stock photo of a telepresence robot.

A doctor speaking through a telepresence robot in California gave a dying patient and his family devastating medical news, raising questions about when the convenience of telemedicine should be skipped in favor of a face-to-face conversation.

According to KTVU, Ernest Quintana was in the intensive care unit of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fremont, California, when a doctor on a video screen told Quintana that he wasn’t likely to survive. “We knew that this was coming and that he was very sick. But I don’t think somebody should get the news delivered that way. It should have been a human being come in,” Quintana’s granddaughter Annalisia Wilharm told KTVU.

What’s more, Quintana r…

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Author: Rachel Becker