Four out of ten children and nearly half (48.8%) of young children rely on Medicaid and CHIP as crucial sources of coverage. Further, approximately 76% of Medicaid beneficiaries are women and children. Given increasing pressure on Medicaid budgets, States and hospitals must leverage innovative and creative tools to make the most from limited funding without sacrificing quality of care to the 34 million children on Medicaid.
An example of how innovation addresses these funding challenges, robots have been studied to manage pain reduction in pediatric patients leveraging a “techno-psychological” treatment in place of a pharmacological one. The startling fact that every 15 minutes a baby is born suffering from opioid withdrawal due to the current epidemic sweeping the US means investigating novel approaches to pain management will benefit children in the short and long term.
Humanoid robots such as Cognosante’s PepperBot, manufactured by Softbank Robotics, have great potential to improve care and reduce costs in Medicaid pediatric populations. Robots like Pepper can be integrated into care workflows to help guide patients through there are journey and, simultaneously, relieve staff of data collection tasks that could be achieved in a self-service model when facilitated by the robot. Robots are also being studied for an impact on recovery times through companionship and entertainment benefits provided to pediatric populations.