robot-painI am quite sure that parents hurt more when they see their child in pain, compared to the child him/herself. Well, distractions are a great way of shifting the focus of the child from pain to something more pleasurable, like say, a lollipop, or perhaps a clown who is busy trying to juggle a bunch of balls. Health care workers have technology on their side this time around, where the latest tool in their arsenal would be the MEDi talking robot.

The MEDi talking robot is actually a NAO robot, and it has been specially programmed for it to greet a child with what other kids normally do, a high-five, in addition to collecting toys from a tray perhaps to have some interaction by asking questions such as “Do you like movies?” Research has shown that children who engaged with the robot as they are on the receiving end of a flu shot, endured far less pain and distress than children received a shot the usual way. I wonder if adults have something of the equivalent, for example, when a parent opens up his or her checkbook and wants to write down the sum required to pay for their child’s college fees. Perhaps having a T-800 come up and recycle some Russell Peters jokes would work.

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