Robots deployed at local hospital to help stop the spread of coronavirus

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LAKE ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A iPad on a stick with wheels is assisting doctors at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital in Lake St. Louis treat coronavirus patients.

The Double 2 Telepresence Robot was originally designed to allow the user to quickly cover larger distances in schools and businesses. Since many schools and businesses are closed now, a vendor who rents the robots had a fleet of unused Double 2s.

That vendor, Technology One Services of Georgia, is allowing the hospital to use the robots free of charge.

“I think a lot of hospitals in general in America are struggling with how are we going to get providers to see all of these really sick patients when we only have so many resources, so when Becky came up with this idea, I thought it was fantastic,” said Dr. David Uhls, an ICU physician at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital.

Critical care nurse Becky Dosenbach came up with the idea. The robot is also used by family members to communicate with a loved at end of life moments.

“So, with the robot, it was nice to able to visualize the family could see the nurse at bedside, holding the family member’s hand, still being there talking with them, so an intimate moment,” she said.

The robot gives doctors, nurses, and other hospital workers a valuable tool to have a virtual conversation with a patient without risking exposure to the coronavirus and conserves precious personal protection equipment.

“I think the biggest thing we’ve used it for now is reducing the PPE; that’s huge. But I can still evaluate the patient and I can look at all the settings on the monitors and on the ventilator,” Uhls said.

FOX 2 Newsletters

Sign up for a newsletter from FOX 2 to get updates about news and weather. We offer daily headlines, breaking news, severe weather, and forecast emails.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

More local COVID-19 maps and stats


Latest News

More News