DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is the first hospital in the country to deploy ‘Moxi,’ a robot designed to support health care professionals by providing clinical staff more time to focus on patient care.

“We want to learn where nursing intersects with socially and artificially intelligent robotics in the daily processes of caring for patients and families, really investigating how this kind of technology can help nurses focus more on the direct needs of our patients by alleviating the more routine, non-clinical duties of caregivers,” said Cole Edmonson, with Texas Health Resources. “Nurses and other caregivers want to spend more time with their patients and on high value work that improve outcomes at the end of the day. By participating in this project, we are creating the future today and setting a national research agenda that will create a path forward for caregivers and robots working side by side in a human environment,” he said.

Moxi is part of a research project to determine whether it can use artificial intelligence technology to autonomously fill shelves in supply rooms, set up and stock patient rooms, run labs and perform other tasks normally handled by nurses and staff. (photo credit: Texas Health Resources)

The research project is a collaboration between Texas Health and Diligent Robotics, an Austin-based artificial intelligence company focused on enhancing relationships between people and technology.

“We’re thrilled to pilot Moxi at Texas Health Dallas and work with their amazing team to evaluate the impact Moxi could have,” said Andrea Thomaz, CEO and co-founder of Diligent Robotics. “Our vision at Diligent Robotics is to enhance the relationships between people and technology, so technology supports the positive work people do.”

On a typical day, someone on the nursing or support staff at Texas Health Dallas may have to fill shelves in supply rooms, set up and stock patient rooms, run labs and perform other tasks that take them away from being at the patient’s bedside. Using artificial intelligence technology, Texas Health Dallas and Diligent Robot staff will investigate whether ‘Moxi,’ which can autonomously move around and uses an arm to pick up and place objects in desired locations, can assume some of these duties.

During the pilot, the robot and the Moxi Innovation Team, which includes a group of clinicians, primarily nurses and patient care technicians, will work together in a neurology and stroke unit at Texas Health Dallas. They will evaluate which non-patient facing support activities Moxi should complete and whether it could be a long-term benefit at Texas Health Dallas and other Texas Health facilities.

Moxi is visiting the hospital in two phases. Phase 1 will be a one-week demonstration period that begins mid-September. The robot will be introduced to the team on the hospital unit before the official pilot begins in October. Phase 2, the month-long pilot, will allow Texas Health to evaluate the efficiencies and opportunities that Moxi could bring to a specific hospital environment and clinical staff.