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In BMJ open

INTRODUCTION : Population ageing, the rise of chronic diseases and the emergence of new viruses are some of the factors that contribute to an increasing share of gross domestic product dedicated to health spending. COVID-19 has shown that nursing staff represents the critical part of hospitalisation. Technological developments in robotics and artificial intelligence can significantly reduce costs and lead to improvements in many hospital processes. The proposed study aims to assess expectations, attitudes and ethical acceptability regarding the integration of socially assistive humanoid robots into hospitalised care workflow from patients' and healthcare professionals' perspectives and to compare them with the results of similar studies.

METHODS/DESIGN : The study is designed as a cross-sectional survey, which will include three previously validated questionnaires, the Technology-Specific Expectation Scale (TSES), the Ethical Acceptability Scale (EAS) and the Negative Attitudes towards Robots Scale (NARS). The employees of a regional clinical centre will be asked to participate via an electronic survey and respond to TSES and EAS questionaries. Patients will respond to TSES and NARS questionaries. The survey will be conducted online.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION : Ethical approval for the study was obtained by the Medical Ethics Commission of the University Medical Center Maribor. Results will be published in a relevant scientific journal and communicated to participants and relevant institutions through dissemination activities and the ecosystem of the Horizon 2020 funded project HosmartAI (grant no. 101016834).



Mlakar Izidor, Kampič Tadej, Flis Vojko, Kobilica Nina, Molan Maja, Smrke Urška, Plohl Nejc, Bergauer Andrej


Organisation of health services, PUBLIC HEALTH, QUALITATIVE RESEARCH, Quality in health care