Stroke Robot helps Grand Strand Medical patients receive best care

Myrtle Beach (WMBF) - A new robot at the Grand Strand Medical Stroke Center will help patients receive care quicker. The staff calls it the 'R2DStroke' but it's an iRobot with remote sensors, self-navigation, cameras and a phone.

Staff says it uses the same technology as NASA to navigate the Mars rover and the U.S. military to detonate bombs.

iRobot is the only robot of its kind in South Carolina hospitals and Grand Strand Regional Medical is excited to roll it out.

"What we are trying to do is give the people of Myrtle Beach and the community who are suffering from the most strokes in the country, being that we are in the stroke buckle, the stroke belt, world class care. We've already achieved that prior to the robot coming but we are going to improve that even more," said Dr. Anil Yallapragada.

Yallapragada is the vascular neurologist at the helm of the stroke center. Every time someone has a stroke, he drops what he's doing and rushes to get there.

Every second counts because 2 million neurons are lost every minute a stroke is not treated. Nurses will begin the initial care, but the robot enables Yallapragada to provide his expertise instantly from anywhere in the world.

"In this case, I'll be able to log on and really asses a patient and diagnose a stroke and review the imaging and provide the therapies needed, whether it's a bleeding type stroke or a non bleeding and really prevent a loss of those neurons that we so value," said Yallapragada.

Another cool thing about R2Dstroke:  it can go into the C-Scan room when radiation is being administered, something staff doesn't do. It can also be programmed to travel to a patient's room, and ultimately, it could mean the difference between life and death.

"If I want to go to the ICU I can click the room number and be instantly there," he said.

The new robot will be in full use by next Monday.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.