Starting September 1, 2020, Keio University Hospital will begin a technical trial of the WHILL Autonomous Drive System to improve patient mobility within the hospital. This system will allow patients with limited mobility to move throughout the hospital without the assistance of hospital staff.
This trial is intended to improve hospital services by creating a more comfortable medical environment and bolster fall prevention for patients who may have difficulty navigating larger facilities as well as those with limited mobility in their legs or hips. The system is also expected to reduce the workload of hospital staff who assist these patients.
The WHILL system works by generating a map of the hospital, which is then stored in a personal electric vehicle equipped with autonomous driving and anti-collision functionality. These autonomous vehicles then drive passengers to a designated location using map information together with data about their surroundings collected using onboard sensors.
Keio University Hospital is bolstering its use of IT and AI, after being selected in 2018 for the “Innovative AI Hospital System” as part of the Japanese government’s Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP), which promotes the country’s Society 5.0 initiative. This trial is being carried out with the support of this AI Hospital Project.