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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Danish hospital first in Europe with TUG logistics robot

Credit: DTI/Aethon
The Danish hospital Sygehus Sønderjylland is first in Europe to use logistics robot TUG, developed by the American company Aethon. TUG specially constructed for intern logistics is already used in more than 140 hospitals in the USA.
With TUG project supported by the Danish Technological Institute (DTI) Sygehus Sønderjylland seeks to automate the transportation of blood samples from the emergency department to the laboratory, saving staff time that can be re-allocated to improving patient care. Eventually, TUG will be assigned more routes and other things to transport at Sygehus Sønderjylland.

Will robots take over hospital jobs?
Aethon markets the logistics robot TUG as ‘augmenting’ human workers – giving medical personnel more time to work with patients and less time hauling supplies. For hospitals robots mean improved productivity and cost saving. According to a hospital administrator at the El Camino Hospital in Silicon Valley quoted in the Businessweek article 19 TUGs performed US$ 1 million of human labor per year, but only cost $350,000. A 65% reduction in labor costs. It's obvisious that TUG robots have a cost advantage over human workers doing the same job. In times of exploding medical costs and budget crisis robots and other forms of machine automation are therefor a serious threat for hospital workers.

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