ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 19, 2020 — It is difficult for kids to find a sense of normalcy at the hospital — especially during the pandemic. AdventHealth for Children is the only hospital in Central Florida to now offer fun, new technology to help pediatric patients feel less isolated during their stay.
Coined “robot avatars,” these new devices resemble an iPad fixed to the top of a remote-controlled Segway, and pediatric patients can use them to navigate throughout the hospital without leaving their room. At the expansive Orlando campus, that means a child can check out various playrooms, the big fish tank and explore the Walt Disney Pavilion lobby.
“The robot actually becomes the patient. The patient is on the screen able to go out to the units, giving that child a sense of socialization virtually,” said Chantelle Bennett, child life manager at AdventHealth for Children.
Even though the robots have to stay in the hospital today, the goal is to put the robots out into the community in the child’s place, so they can take part in special moments such as game day, graduation, prom, or a family gathering — experiences they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do with their current health limitations.
The robot avatars were made possible by Champions for Children and with generous support from AdventHealth Foundation Central Florida.
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