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Are robots the solution to understaffed nursing homes?

Pepper, programmed by Arshia Khan.
Pepper, programmed by Arshia Khan.

More than 200,000 residents or workers at long-term care facilities have died of COVID-19.

For many, the pandemic has exposed cracks in our long-term care systems — from staffing shortages to chronic loneliness among residents.

What if a robot could fix both?

A program at the University of Minnesota-Duluth is using automation technology to find out.

The New York Times reported on these robots, which are programmed by computer science professor Arshia Khan:

The notion of using robots in nursing homes also raises ethical issues — about data and privacy and the importance of human-to-human contact.

We talk with Dr. Khan and others about the intersection of technology and geriatric care.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Kathryn Fink
Kathryn Fink is a producer with NPR's All Things Considered.
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