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FDA Licenses iRobot to Practice Telemedicine

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On Thursday, Roomba and PackBot maker iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT  ) announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA to deploy its new RP-VITA Remote Presence Robot for use in hospitals -- a first in the nascent field of telemedicine.

RP-VITA, a joint project between iRobot and telemedicine "solutions" provider InTouch Health, is described as being a robot featuring "the latest in autonomous navigation and mobility technologies developed by iRobot with state-of-the-art telemedicine and electronic health record integration developed by InTouch Health."

In a press release, iRobot explained that the robot can be used, for example, for remote doctor-to-patient consults, in which "a doctor can visit a patient, and communicate with hospital staff and patients with a single click" on the RP-VITA's onboard iPad control panel. InTouch will be responsible for selling the robot to hospitals. iRobot, meanwhile, will focus on exploring "adjacent market opportunities for robots such as RP-VITA and the iRobot Ava mobile robotics platform."

iRobot shares are up 11.4% on the news, at $23.51.

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Rich Smith

I love things that go "boom." Sonic or otherwise, that means I tend to gravitate towards defense and aerospace stocks. But to tell the truth, over the course of a dozen years writing for The Motley Fool, I have covered -- and continue to cover -- everything from retailers to consumer goods stocks, and from tech to banks to insurers as well. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the most important developments in defense & aerospace news, and other great stories besides.

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11/25/2015 4:00 PM
IRBT $32.91 Up +0.27 +0.83%
iRobot CAPS Rating: *****