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Avatarmind's iPal Smart AI Robots, designed to be companions for children and elderly, perform calisthenics during the 2018 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 9, 2018. VOA

People with advanced computer skills are more likely to accept and use digital healthcare services and robot doctors, says a study by an Indian-origin researcher.

“There is increasing use of automated systems in the medical field, where intake is now often conducted through a kiosk instead of by a receptionist,” said S Shyam Sundar, Professor at Pennsylvania State University in the US.


“We investigated user acceptance of these ‘robot receptionists,’ along with automated nurses and doctors,” Sundar added.

For the study, scientists recruited participants from the online workforce Amazon Mechanical Turk to gain a better understanding of user psychology behind the acceptance of automation in clinics.

The research team gauged the participants’ preconceived beliefs about and attitudes toward machines — what is called a “machine heuristic.”

The team measured participants’ adherence to the machine heuristic by asking them to indicate their level of agreement with statements such as, “When machines, rather than humans, complete a task, the results are more accurate.”


FILE – A visitor shakes hands with a humanoid robot at 2018 China International Robot Show in Shanghai. (VOA)

“We found that if you’re high on machine heuristic and you’re high on power usage, you have the most positive attitude toward automated healthcare providers. This combination seems to make people more accepting of these technologies,” said Sundar.

“A power user (a person with advanced computer skills) is more likely to accept a robot doctor, for example, than a non-power user,” Sundar added.

The results were presented at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Glasgow, Scotland.

According to Sundar, the healthcare industry can benefit from increased reliance on automated systems.

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“Doctors are limited by their human bandwidth, by their experience, knowledge and even state of mind from minute to minute,” he said.

“In contrast, machines can be programmed to ‘think’ of all the possible conditions that a patient’s symptoms could point to, and they never get tired. Some level of automation is clearly needed.” (IANS)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

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