There’s no doubt that the use of technology has contributed to the transformation of healthcare in the last 15 years. We are talking about profound changes in different healthcare activities including medical record storage and analysis, surgery techniques and more. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is especially helpful when it comes to the advance of healthcare in the last few years. There are many different ways in which the AI concepts contributes, but robotics is definitely among the most important ones. Before we go into details and analyze how robotics is helping the healthcare sector in 2019, let’s define this term first.
Robotics in healthcare: a short guide
Robotics is a term used to describe an interdisciplinary category of science and engineering that consists of electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, and a few other disciplines. When it comes to robotics in healthcare, it’s a concept that takes care of the design, built, work and use of robots in healthcare facilities. The basic idea here is to use technology to create machines that are able to replace humans (doctors and nurses) and mimic human actions. It turns out that robots can be used in many different situations in healthcare facilities.
How is robotics used in the healthcare sector in 2019?
Robotics has been used in the healthcare sector for a few decades now. However, in the last ten years, we have all witnessed a fast advance in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence. As a result of that, the use of robotics has advanced and we can now find different AI machines performing healthcare activities around the world.
- First of all, robots are becoming surgical assistants. We are talking about robots that are controlled remotely. Their job is to help human surgeons conduct operations in the best possible way. Due to the fact that this is a relatively new technology, these robotic surgical assistants are usually involved in conventional surgical procedures. It’s interesting how these robots are helping. Namely, in most cases, we are talking about robotic arms that can be managed with the help of controls. Basically, the doctor relies on the precision of the robotic hand instead of their own hands. With the advance of technology, these robotic arms will find use in more advanced surgeries. For example, some of them will have better visualization features and there are efforts to create robots that use augmented reality that can help future doctors with the training process.
- Furthermore, this 2019, more and more doctors are using robots in order to examine and take care of patients that live in more isolated places. They can do this with the help of so-called telepresence. So, they are using a robot to make calls, answer questions, monitor and guide therapies regardless of their location. These advanced robots have excellent cameras, great memory and other things that make the process of examination and treatment easy.
- Unfortunately, there are thousands of people with disabilities that live around the world. The good news is that thanks to modern technology, especially robotics and AI, they can live better lives. We are talking about specially designed rehabilitation robots, that support the rehabilitation process. They are designed and created to improve strength, mobility, coordination and overall quality of life in these patients. As you are probably aware, every patient is different and dealing with specific forms of disabilities. This usually depends on the event or the condition that led to the problem – traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, neuromuscular, neuroskeletal, neurobehavioral or other types of health issues. The robots are able to identify the issue and adjust the rehabilitation program. Patients use them to work on proper walking, balance and motor functions in general.
- According to many surveys, there’s an increasing number of robots that are used in the process of medical research. It usually takes a lot of time and significant manpower to conduct research related to new drugs. However, with the help of robots, this process can be accelerated. They can conduct these researches faster and they can collect, process and analyze data much faster than humans. Needless to say, there’s no room for human error in researches like this.
- Finally, these robots can conduct regular manual jobs in healthcare facilities. It’s not that people can’t do this job, but robots can be more effective. Programmed robots are able to clean and disinfect all areas in these facilities. At this moment, there are dozens of robots around the globe that rely on hydrogen peroxide fumes and UV light to conduct these activities. The rise of dangerous bacteria has made many hospitals more cautious when it comes to disinfection and sanitation. It turns out that robots can be one of the best solutions for situations like this.
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