Over the course of a decade, technology has rapidly progressed, especially when it comes to robotics. Robots have helped people to investigate better and understand space, it has made innovation in education more readily available and some robots have even developed the ability to physically evolve. These new innovations are of course exciting, and despite the number of critics concerned about their ability to become completely autonomous, robotics has made our lives far easier. In the field of medicine, where precision is necessary to save patients’ lives, the evolution of robotic technology is particularly useful and profound.
But would you trust a diagnosis given to you by a robot? And how about letting that robot draw blood, stitch a wound, or operate on you by itself?
According to research by PwC, more than half (54%) of people surveyed in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are willing to engage with AI and robotics for their healthcare needs, and close to half and up to 73% would even be prepared to undergo minor surgery performed by a robot. The use of robotics in the healthcare field is only expected to grow in the years to come.
In fact, according to information compiled by Duquesne University, the healthcare robotics market is estimated to grow to $2.8 billion in revenue by the year 2021. Robotics can be helpful in a surprising number of hospital environments. They can perform accurate surgery in tiny places and transport dangerous substances. As a result, the healthcare industry has the potential to save billions of dollars in coming years.
Improving Healthcare Quality
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can provide analysis and data from a patient’s condition and their progression. It has the ability to monitor the patient’s journey from the time they started showing the symptoms to their current condition. It also offers a smart diagnosis and options for the treatment. This technology analyzes data from a number of healthcare providers greatly improving the care cycle as it streamlines a portion of their work. RPA can also be effective in care management, improving the quality of coordinating care, population wellness, remote monitoring, and case & utilization management. Healthcare professionals can have the freedom to focus on more critical activities like interacting one-on-one with the patients when they are no longer bogged down many of their daily tasks.
Well Known Robots
Allowing nurses to monitor several patients at once, robotic medical assistants monitor patient vital statistics and alert the nurses when there is a need for a human presence in the room. These robotic assistants also automatically enter information into the patient electronic health record. Robotic carts will be seen carrying supplies and moving through the corridors. Robots are also assisting doctors in surgeries, allowing them to conduct surgery through a tiny incision instead of an inches-long incision. Robotics is making a big impact in other areas of medicine as well.
To complete manual tasks, hospitals are eliminating the need for workers in order to save time and money. With the help of trustworthy robots like Tugs, doctors and nurses can spend more time with patients. An autonomous machine, like Tugs, is already whirring around the corridors of numerous establishments around the world, where it transports and distributes meals and medicines to patients. These robots use LIDAR, an algorithm program that produces highly detailed 3D maps by bouncing the laser off its surroundings.
A caring giant teddy bear is more comforting than anything. ROBEAR is a bot designed to aid the growing elderly population in Japan. With its Smart Rubber tactile and torque sensors, the robot can gently interact with the patients. It can also lift and carry disabled patients or provide an arm to lean on while walking without hurting them. With fewer children, many fear a shortage of caregivers, which will soon become a pressing problem across the world. Expectations are high that robotics, especially nurse robots that can interact with patients, will offer a solution. While ROBEAR is still in testing, improvements like a lighter design and smaller base make the tech’s integration promising.
In the U.S., 250,000 people die each year from medical mistakes, some of which can be prevented by using robots during surgical procedures to reduce human error and aid in recovery. Surgical robots like the da Vinci give doctors more control over the operating table, leading to higher rates of success and fewer tragic accidents. Surgeons control the robot with a console, using their hands and feet to manipulate surgical attachments near the patient.
To provide patients with companionship, many hospitals are using robots. While robots may seem cold and unfeeling, these tech companies can act as a calming presence similar to a cat or dog. These robots are designed to help people feel less anxious when visiting the hospital or undergoing treatment. These interactive robots are programmed with five types of sensors, which enable it to detect its surroundings and remember how people interact with it.
Future of Healthcare Industry
Robots have already made a significant impact on the healthcare industry. Manual tasks like medicine delivery and laundry pick-are automated with robots. Elderly patients can be carried and assisted by giant nurse bots that look like teddy bears. And nanorobotics is predicted to be part of a revolutionary new treatment for cancer. Even though the technology is expensive and some of it is years away from being implemented, the use of robots is changing healthcare and it will revolutionize the healthcare industry, saving time, energy, costs, and ultimately improving patient care, which is where it’s true value lies.