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Robots help children with diabetes in Brussels

Children with type 1 diabetes get special help of a social robot at the University Hospital Brussels in Jette. The imec.icon project ROBO-CURE focuses on the supervision of newly diagnosed children.

When a child is told that he or she suffers from type 1 diabetes, he or she is inundated with information. For example, they suddenly have to learn how much carbohydrates a meal contains, how to handle portable devices such as insulin pumps or what to do when they go to work out or have a sugar dip in school. This is definitely not easy, so a personal approach is necessary.

Various tests have shown that the interaction with a social robot provides an important advantage. The hospital in Brussels uses therefore two robots to provide children with the necessary information about diabetes.

The robot ask the children some quiz questions, but also recognizes situations. For example, it can read the data from a glucose sensor in real time and warn the child when there is a shortage.

“ROBO-CURE is an example of how we can use technology to improve care for chronic patients. On the one hand by improving their self-reliance, on the other by using more data to personalize treatments”, says Prof. Dr. Inge Gies, project lead ROBO-CURE, University Hospital Brussels.

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