Fort Lauderdale, FL - Salah Foundation Children's Hospital at Broward Health has introduced a child-friendly robot named MEDi to its pediatric patients to help reduce pain, anxiety and fear associated with common medical procedures. The two-foot-tall robot is designed to ease the stress of the hospital experience for both patients and parents alike and is exclusive to South Florida. Salah Foundation Children's Hospital at Broward Health is one of only eight hospitals in the nation that utilizes MEDi®. The purchase of MEDi® was made possible through a generous gift from the 1000+ Club to Benefit Cancer, Inc. Their gift of $20,000 to Broward Health Foundation also funded an art therapist for the adult infusion patients at Broward Health Medical Center.
MEDi®, short for Medicine and Engineering Design Intelligence, has many applications, including Pain Coach, Educator and Companion. The robot is programmed to greet apprehensive patients with a warm welcome and “high five” during a variety of procedures, such as vaccinations and blood tests and gives children instructions as to how to manage pain and distress. The hospital uses MEDi® to distract patients while having procedures such as blood tests, dressing changes, EEGs, Foley Catheter insertion and removal, inductions before procedure, inductions after procedure, IV starts, NG insertions, port access, swallow studies and vaccinations. MEDi® also interacts with pediatric patients using songs, stories and games under the supervision of the hospital’s Child Life team.
“A hospital setting can put children on edge, especially if they are here for a procedure that may involve some discomfort,” says Rita Frantz, MS, RN, Administrator of Salah Foundation Children's Hospital at Broward Health. “It is clear this technology significantly improves the healthcare experience for our young patients and their parents and caregivers. Salah Foundation Children's Hospital at Broward Health is fortunate to have access to one of the first robots in the United States specifically programmed to help children manage painful or stressful medical procedures. It’s a useful – and truly heart-warming – technology.”