Saudi Arabia launches ‘Artificial Intelligence Hour’ initiative in more than 1,300 schools

Saudi research center launches first robot employee to elevate healthcare in the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center has unveiled its inaugural humanoid robot employee, “Nour R1,” to assist both staff and visitors.

Hospital chiefs said the robot had been programmed to offer cutting-edge information and communication technology services to staff. They said the robot would elevate the overall experience for both employees and patients.

The robot can accurately and effectively answer questions, the hospital said, demonstrating a significant change in the utilization of technology within healthcare facilities in the Kingdom.

The robot is stationed in the hospital’s Healthcare Information Technology Affairs wing, addressing technical support queries in both Arabic and English.

KFSHRC said Nour R1 distinguished itself by its ability to interact and communicate with others and recognize staff members’ faces.

It added the robot would eventually perform additional roles such as wayfinding, addressing patient queries, and delivering real-time updates on hospital events and activities.

KFSHRC’s Chief Information Officer, Dr. Osama Alswailem, said: “We believe that the introduction of our new employee, Nour R1, will enhance the services we provide to our dedicated staff. This cutting-edge technology aligns with our commitment to digital innovation and will enable our employees to focus on their core responsibilities while enjoying the convenience and efficiency brought by Nour.”

The hospital said Nour R1 underscored its commitment to utilizing advanced technology for better operations, patient care, and tapping into the potential of robots and AI.

It added it also aimed to enhance its internal environment through user-friendly interactive technologies, benefiting both visitors and employees.

KFSHRC is a global leader in specialized healthcare, ranked 20th worldwide in 2023 and first in the Middle East and Africa by Brand Finance.

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