The first “Delivery Buddy” robot in the southeast is now operating in the GHS Laurens County Memorial Hospital. The computer allows a specialist in Greenville to virtually join a delivery in progress at Laurens County Memorial and provide that extra layer of knowledge to help should complications arise during what was a routine delivery. The robot is online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure its ready when and if needed. At a news conference introducing the system to local media yesterday, reporters were told that the system has been online since the 1st of December. While it has not yet been needed for complications in delivery, training sessions have been performed for training.
The “Delivery Buddy” robot is expected to prevent having to transport some cases to Greenville due to unexpected complications.
OB/GYN Dr. Joni Coker said that confidence is growing in the Laurens County Memorial Hospital for infant delivery, but she believes the “Delivery Buddy” program will add to that.
“I think in general just from our increasing numbers of deliveries in the last several years there more confidence but I think this will just….this is like the icing on the cake, Having this robot.”
350 babies were born last year at Laurens County. Chief Nursing Officer Kay Swisher said the number of births here is growing this year.
Dr. Michael Stewart is one of the Neonatologists on duty 24/7 at GHS in Greenville. He said that having the Delivery Buddy system at Laurens County Memorial will provide a link where specialists on standby in Greenville can also provide immediate guidance to health care providers at a birth here.
“If a baby were to come out and require some type of resuscitation, this is something that is the matter of seconds to minutes that we need to make interventions. Not something that, oh, within 30 minutes or an hour a specialist can come in. But it really is…within a matter of minutes that if we don’t make interventions the potential is injury could occur. And so, again that’s the timeliness of this robot system and what we can provide to this community.”
While Laurens County Memorial Hospital is the first in the Southeast with this “Delivery Buddy” robot a second is now in the process of being set up at Baptist Hospital / Easley.
The robot is similar to one already in operation at GHS/Laurens County Memorial for handling strokes.