Experiments in Remote Nursing

Don Wickelgren
January 20, 2023

Marketplace has a podcast out talking about a new AI system from Care AI. It is a platform that provides the ability for a remote nurse to be in patients' rooms and speak to and see them. What this system does is take over the non-critical but observational tasks with patients in a facility, freeing up the in-person nurses to do the essential hands-on care. The reality is, this is job partitioning with improvements in performance on some tasks (let's face it, we have a 1-second trip from one room to any other room vs. a nurse walking). By allowing in-person nurses to perform hands-on work, the number of nurses available for patients such as this 50-year-old with mobility problems will increase. Existing nursing staff have some reservations about downsizing, and a physician assures them that only local nurses will use it. 

I think this is true, but if successful, it would be temporary. There is too much pressure and not enough people available. The cost advantages and increasing attention, and therefore care and outcomes, will be a driving force to bring in qualified people to do the work wherever they are.

I imagine this platform will be extended to more than just nursing. Having people and staff able to communicate with the patient—think pharmacists, hospital insurance and finance, OT and even PT, and many other operational ones—using this.

Reference: https://www.marketplace.org/2023/01/11/hospitals-explore-virtual-nursing-to-cover-staffing-shortages-and-fight-burnout/


Don Wicklegren is Xilium's founder. He is a technologist by profession who started his career pre-internet in remote medical technology and learning. He has worked in both small and large corporations with world-wide remote staff and became a part of the team who developed the first commercial internet. As an entrepreneur, he started his first technology company in 2001. In Xilium, he focuses on innovating solutions for the US healthcare system.