Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

What Will It Take to Hire a Robot? Views From Health Care Personnel and Managers in a Rehabilitation Hospital

Magnhild Kaarstada, Alexandra Fernandesb, Maren Eitrheimc and Kine Reegårdd

Digital Systems/Institute for Energy Technology, Os Alle 5, 1777 Halden, Norway.


In the current work we explore the views of healthcare workers and managers towards including an android robot as an assistant in their daily routines. How employees perceive the technology can influence their behavior in ways that are highly instrumental for the innovation efforts. We investigate initial reactions, preferences, and expectations, exploring whether a robot can be used to assist health care personnel at this specific hospital. In this paper we ask: What will it take to hire a robot? We explore this question using mixed methods: interviews with health care staff after they had performed tasks with and without assistance from the robot; group interviews, one with managers of the hospital and one with staff from two different departments after seeing the robot and watching a video of how the robot can be used to assist health personnel; and questionnaires to personnel. The findings indicate that the healthcare personnel and managers are overall positive to a robot assistant, focusing mostly on the benefits of introducing a robot to assist at the rehabilitation hospital. However, it was emphasized that the robot needs to be reliable. If it stopped working, or if using the robot turned out to be cumbersome and time consuming, the staff would get frustrated, and rather perform the tasks themselves.

Keywords: Healthcare, Robot assistant, Attitude, Trust, Technology acceptance, Empirical study.

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