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A dive into the world of robotics in healthcare
7 July 2021
A DIVE INTO THE WORLD OF ROBOTICS IN HEALTHCARE.
Robots are going to take over the world. Haven't we heard this one too many times? Even though robots have been in use for a while now we have seen significant development in recent years. Robotics and AI are some of the most growing healthcare technologies out there. Robots have evolved over the years exponentially and dynamically. They are transforming how surgeries are performed, improving diagnosis accuracy, etc. The promise of robotics in surgery is to increase productivity, increase consistency, and reduce human error, leading to improved outcomes.
Where Can Robots Be Used?
Let's talk about Surgical Robots that help increase precision in surgery. One is the da Vinci System, which focuses on urological, bariatric, and gynecological surgical procedures. Another is Stryker's Mako, who specializes in orthopedic surgery, especially in knee replacement.
There are several things happening simultaneously at the hospital, and not only doctors but nurses and other hospital personnel can benefit from the Auxillary Robots. Moxi Robot by Diligent Robotics takes care of restocking, bringing items and cleaning taking some workload off the nurses.
Hospital Robots can also disinfect rooms, which is a very crucial thing in these COVID-19 times. They disinfect using Ultra-violet light, hydrogen peroxide vapors, or air filtration to help reduce infection and sanitize unreachable places.
As the number of available caregivers decreases, we are introduced to Care Robots. AIST's Paro is listed as a therapeutic robot. It helps reduce patient stress, improve their relaxation and help improve their socialization with other patients and caregivers.
Exoskeletons, for example, Cyberdyne's Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) exoskeleton, which uses sensors placed on the skin to detect small electrical signals in the patient's body and respond with movement at the joint, are designed to assist patients to rehabilitate from conditions leading to lower limb disorders, including spinal cord injuries and strokes.
Pharmacy Robots, are a relatively new application for robotics but have a promising future. They improve efficacy and accuracy of drug dispensing in pharmacy, for example, British Wirral University Teaching Hospital reported a 50 percent reduction of dispensing errors in the four months after installing a pharmacy robot.
Robots a boon or a bane?
Robots make patient recovery quick and robot-assisted surgery gives the surgeon better control over the instruments and a better view. These robots don't make the mistakes human can.
On the other hand, Robots are expensive and they are long learning curves for a surgeon to learn to work with. There is a lot we still have to learn about robots.
The aim is to integrate robots in healthcare to have an enhanced system and as a result, save more lives. It might require more knowledge than we have now and healthcare workers would have to co-exist beside them. Robotics will continue to evolve alongside AI to complete tasks autonomously, efficiently, and accurately.
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