RelayRx Delivery Robot From Relay Robotics Addresses Hospital Nursing Shortage

The high-capacity mobile robot is designed to deliver a wide range of items and includes security and navigation features for safety in hospitals.

Relay Robotics

RelayRx doubles the capacity over previous models and can deliver a variety of materials across hospitals.
RelayRx doubles the capacity of previous models and can take a variety of lab samples and other items across hospitals, including on elevators, noted Relay Robotics.

As hospitals grapple with a shortage of skilled workers, robots could lend a hand. Relay Robotics Inc. today introduced its RelayRx autonomous service robot at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Summer Meetings & Exhibition in Baltimore.

More than 100,000 registered nurses have left the workforce in the past two years, according to the American Hospital Association. Moreover, PBS NewsHour recently reported that in the next two years, there will be a shortage of 450,000 bedside nurses in the U.S.

“RelayRx for hospitals brings urgent relief to nurses, pharmacy techs, and hospital staff,” stated Michael O’Donnell, chairman and CEO of Relay Robotics, in a release. “They are our heroes today, and we need to provide them all the tools that technology and innovation provide so they can spend more time with patients.”

RelayRx doubles capacity

Campbell, Calif.-based Relay Robotics said it has deployed mobile robots at more than 15 hospital systems over the past five years. RelayRx delivers twice the capacity of earlier models—10 gallons (41 liters)—and has expanded 8-in. touchscreen, noted the company.

The new robot includes enhanced navigation for safe travel in busy hospital spaces and can deliver lab specimens, medications, and equipment, said Relay Robotics. It also includes “chain of custody” security features.

RelayRx high-capacity hospital robot

RelayRx is a high-capacity delivery robot designed for hospitals. Source: Business Wire

Leading hospitals worldwide use Relay robots, including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, CHU Sainte-Justine, El Camino Hospital, Hutchinson Health, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, University of California, San Diego, and Yale NewHaven Health Lawrence + Memorial.

Relay Robotics said hospitals use its robots to make deliveries from every department to every corner of their facilities, quickly and efficiently. “RelayRx is effectively another 'transport system' for these hospitals,” it claimed.

“Before our Relay robot, we had to stop and make hard decisions,” said Jamie Schmidt, lab supervisor at Hutchinson Health in Hutchinson, Minn. “Do I transport these specimens now to the lab myself, or do I help this patient?”

“I have three patients in line, but there are three stat samples. Which do I do first?” Schmidt added. “Now it’s very simple; we just send our robot.”

RelayRx can autonomously ride hospital elevators by using proprietary elevator technology to operate all major elevators including OTIS, Schindler, TK, Mitsubishi, and KONE. This enables RelayRx to navigate throughout an entire hospital, connecting departments such as the pharmacy and blood banks with patient rooms with an average delivery time of seven minutes, Relay said.

About Relay Robotics

“We're proud of the technology and design advancements we've made in RelayRx to expand the delivery capacity and better serve hospital staff and their use cases like lab deliveries and chemotherapy from the pharmacy to the infusion center,” said Steve Cousins, founder and chief technology officer of Relay Robotics.

Relay Robotics said it is “a leading supplier of autonomous service robots that work with humans safely, securely, reliably, and contact-free.” The company added that its technology leaders have been building robots for more than 10 years, pioneering human-friendly robot design and software functionality, including elevator integration.

In May 2022, Relay acquired fellow indoor delivery robot company Savioke. Last week, the company released the Relay2 model for hotels, which also doubled delivery capacity.

Relay asserted that its robots complement staffers across hospitality, healthcare, and commercial real estate. It added that its systems have completed more than 1 million deliveries worldwide and continue to make hundreds of deliveries a day around the globe.

Relay robots in action at various hospitals.

Email Sign Up

Get news, papers, media and research delivered
Stay up-to-date with news and resources you need to do your job. Research industry trends, compare companies and get market intelligence every week with Robotics 24/7. Subscribe to our robotics user email newsletter and we'll keep you informed and up-to-date.

Relay Robotics

RelayRx doubles the capacity over previous models and can deliver a variety of materials across hospitals.

Robot Technologies