The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on September 1 donated 15 more Ohmni Robots to the Vietnamese Ministry of Health to help protect frontline doctors and nurses in Central provinces’ hospitals from Covid-19 and other infectious diseases.
UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen symbolically hands over the 15 Ohmni robots to Vice Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan. Photo: UNDP
This is the second in a series of robots to be delivered from UNDP to different hospitals throughout Vietnam for testing ecosystem and robotic applications: diagnosis, tele-training, autonomous delivery of supplies for Covid-19 and other infectious diseases.
Earlier, UNDP provided three robots to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases and were perceived by the hospital staff as useful in reducing their risk of exposure to the virus. The intention was not to replace existing doctors and nurses, it was to complement and to provide safety in highly infectious context.
Addressing the reception ceremony chaired by Vice Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen said that Vietnam and the UN share the values of freedom, equality, solidarity, transparency and respect for nature, and have been working together to make these principles a reality.
“Vietnam’s exemplary response to Covid-19 is an example of this. I would like to congratulate the Ministry of Health for your great contribution to Vietnam’s success in responding to the pandemic, especially your quick action in mobilizing best doctors for treatment of Covid-19 patients and containment of the virus spread during the recent resurgence,” she said.
Vietnam is a tropical country that is prone to many different infectious diseases like H1N1, H5N1 and SARS and yearly incurring diseases such as Hepatitis A and B, and dengue fever. These robots can therefore help protect the safety of frontline doctors and healthcare workers in dealing with such health shock situations.
Thanking UNDP for its timely support to the ministry, Vice Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan said: “Ohmni Robots donated by UNDP have the main function of remote communication, diagnoses and treatment without direct contacts with the patients. The National Hospital for Tropical Diseases has used this robot and highly appreciates it. I hope that modern science and technology will help partly ease the pressure on doctors and nurses, thus increasing the effectiveness of their treatment and care for Covid-19 patients,” he said.
Ohmni Robots are made by Ohmni Labs, which is based in the Silicon Valley but has a Vietnamese co-founder, Thuc Vu, and an operation team in Vietnam. More than 1,000 Ohmni Robots have been used in the US, India and Japan, mostly for hospitals and nursing homes. Based on the test at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, the startup can accelerate its process of setting up national production in Vietnam.