Patients prefer robots (to tablets)

If you were obliged to receive healthcare instructions from a machine rather than a human, which would you prefer, a robot or a tablet?
‘People respond better to robots than computer tablets delivering healthcare instructions’ say a team from the Department of Psychological Medicine, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, at The University of Auckland, New Zealand in Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 43, February 2015, Pages 112–117.

• We compared responses to a robot with responses to a computer in a health context.

• Participants spoke and smiled more towards the robot than the tablet.

• Participants were more likely to follow relaxation instructions when given by the robot.

• The robot was rated more favourably and more likeable than the tablet.

• Robots can offer advantages over a computer tablet in healthcare.

Bonus cartoon: [partially related]