Robotics and Healthcare
Nowadays, robots are everywhere, from science fiction to your local hospital where they are improving healthcare. We are not referring to robots such as the ones from the movies Terminator or I Robot, but the robots in medicine that help a lot by relieving medical staff from routine tasks which occupy their time and keep them from fulfilling more important responsibilities.
Also, they help make medical procedures safer, as well as less costly for patients. After reading this article, you will be able to better understand the role of robotics in modern medicine.
Naturally, there are concerns about machines taking over people's jobs. However, there are advantages to the redistribution of tasks. You see, machines do not require food or sleep. They do not have prejudices, and they surely don't grunt about having to perform the same routine for the thousandth time.
A good example is bringing medicine up the tenth floor. Therefore, robots could greatly improve healthcare by taking over administrative and more monotonous tasks. More importantly, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals could devote this time to other significant matters.
With some preparation and careful analysis, we can ensure that human touch remains relevant in medicine and, at the same time, we can also take advantage of metallic allies.
At best, surgery is an unpleasant experience. Depending on the available resources and manpower, the waiting list can be quite long. Therefore, surgical robots are becoming the prodigies of this procedure. Based on market analysis, this industry is about to boom. By the year 2020, surgical robotics sales are anticipated to double to $6.4 billion.
The best known surgical robot today is the da Vinci Surgical System. You may not believe it, but this system has been introduced 15 years ago. It comes with a magnified 3D high-definition vision system, as well as small wristed instruments that rotate and bend much more than the capabilities of the human hand.
The surgeon is completely in control of the robotic system at all times but is able to perform more precise operations than thought possible in the past. Other huge companies have also shown their interest in the surgical robotics field, as well.
In 2015, Google has made an announcement that it began working with the pharmaceutical giant, Johnson&Johnson to create a surgical robot system in Verb Surgical's framework. Google's co-founder, Sergey Brin, used the robot to suture on synthetic tissue, in early 2018.
Since then, Johnson&Johnson bought Auris, which has been developing robotic technologies with a focus on lung cancer and also acquired Orthotaxy, which is a privately-held developer of software-enabled surgical technology.
Disinfector and blood-drawing robots
When hospitalized, patients interact the most with nurses. This 12-hour job usually involves checking for vital signs, drawing blood, monitoring patients' conditions, as well as taking care of their hygiene, if needed.
No wonder nurses are often overwhelmed by mentally and physically daunting tasks, and the result can sometimes be an unpleasant experience for all parties involved. Robotic nurses can carry this burden in the future.
They are intended to be able to carry out monotonous and repetitive tasks, so that human staff remains with more energy to deal with issues that really require human intervention and decision skills, as well as creativity and empathy.
Perhaps one day, blood-drawing robots will be able to relieve nurses from this burden, and they might even be able to perform lab tests without human intervention. The TUG autonomous mobile delivery robot can become one of the nurses' favorites.
It can carry around carts, bins, or racks up to 453 kilograms in the forms of lab specimens, medications, and any other sensitive materials. At the same time, nurses can perform other, more important tasks.
The TUG is requested or sent using a touch-screen interface. Once it completes its mission, it returns to its charging dock until it is loaded for its next job. This robotic assistant has become commonplace in hospitals, and it makes over 50,000 deliveries per week in more than 140 hospitals throughout the United States.
You see, there are more and more people in the world, and, as a consequence, more medical attention is required. Hospitals and medical staff cannot keep up with all the diseases, accidents, wars, street fights, injuries, births, and so on. They need all the help they can get, and robots are the most logical solution. Once they can take care of various tasks, the human staff can take more care of the patients who need them.
There are many other technological advancements that help us greatly when it comes to our jobs, daily activities or even hobbies. For example, by reading this article, you’ll get the chance to check some of the most popular windshields for motorcycles. One of these could well save you from an accident which could otherwise require the help of the above-mentioned robots for treatment and recovery.
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