Podcast: Human-Robot Interaction in Healthcare


Human-robot interaction developed at the MIT Media Lab helps patients manage chronic conditions.

Cory Kidd, PhD and Sam Glick

2 min read

In this episode of the Oliver Wyman Health Podcast, Dr. Cory Kidd, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Catalia Health, who holds a PhD in human-robot interaction from the MIT Media Lab, discusses how robotics and artificial intelligence are advancing aging and chronic disease management. Cory shares with Sam Glick, Oliver Wyman’s Health & Life Sciences Partner, how his company, Catalia Health, is solving real world healthcare challenges with interactive technologies that are helping patients positively change their behaviors and better manage their daily health challenges.

For this episode and more, check out the Oliver Wyman Health Podcast page, featuring executive conversations on the business of transforming healthcare, available on iTunes, iHeartRadio, Soundcloud, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and Spotify. Or, just tell Alexa, "Play Oliver Wyman Health Podcast."

Cory explains his work with Mabu, a robot and personalized healthcare companion who personally advises patients on how to better manage their chronic conditions.

“We’ve built this product that sits in a patient’s home and talks to them. It’s a cute little robot, about 16 inches tall, named Mabu, that has a conversation with a person each day to learn about that individual and their needs. We build these around particular disease states," says Cory. "If someone has heart failure, [Mabu] knows to check in with each person about their weight, or adherence to a low-sodium diet. It helps to use the educational content we already know to spread out overwhelming information to a patient over time."

Cory says that in a world where many people openly share their health conditions virtually (and without hesitation on social media, no less), Mabu collects information through daily patient conversations to help physicians, nurses, and pharmacists develop personalized care management action plans based on each healthcare consumer’s unique medical needs. 

Mabu’s tailored technology, he says, is driving new and engaging consumer conversations about patients’ disease states, symptoms, medication side effects, and the often anxiety-inducing psychosocial impact a chronic disease diagnosis has on someone’s life. But technology like Mabu is not about replacing humans, Cory emphasizes. It’s merely about filling in the care journey gaps along the way.

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For more information on this and other podcast episodes, check out the Oliver Wyman Health Podcast page, featuring executive conversations on the business of transforming healthcare.

  • Cory Kidd, PhD and
  • Sam Glick