Cerro Coso Community College

Robo RITA Inspiring Next Generation Nurses

CCCC nursing students (Back l to r) – Jenna Tamblyn, Warren Fellows, Dirk Addis, Jennifer Johnson, Morgan Fuller, Danielle Ford, Viola Duff, Jillian Schroeder, Marie Johnson, and Carol Robins. (Front l to r) Jennifer Huddleston, Melanie Anderson, Robo RITA, Bernadette Dewey, Brandi Moelter, and Courtney Viveros.

Imagine a robot that allows doctors in urban locations to diagnose a patient having a life-threatening heart attack in a small community hundreds, maybe even thousands, of miles away. Robo RITA can.

RITA (Robotic Intelligent Telehealth Assistant) allows doctors to remotely evaluate the severity of an illness or injury and determine the best course of action through compatible medical devices and video consultation. Physicians control the camera to examine patients remotely and have immediate access to electronic health records, EKG results, blood pressure and oxygen readings, and any other equipment utilized to medically diagnose an injury or illness. This world-class, state-of-the-art technology will provide access to available specialists 24/7 anywhere and can be used in home-health, remote hospitals, clinics, prisons, nursing homes, rehab centers, senior living communities, etc.

The nursing class at Cerro Coso got an opportunity to see RITA in action and provide valuable input to the designers and engineers from Pertexa, Inc., a next-generation medical technology company headquartered in Ridgecrest. “This technology will save so many lives,” stated nursing student Jennifer Johnson.

Pertexa engineers and scientists, Damien Jacotin and Dr. Dawson, explained how RITA is used, patiently answered questions, and sought input to improve the design and use. CareRemote will be integrating their cardiology services with RITA’s cardio unit allowing doctors to diagnose a heart attack in seconds with no blood draw. When seconds can mean the difference between life and death, RITA will provide ‘on demand’ cardiology assistance to specialists in areas with minimal or no cardiology capability.