Robotics in the medical area is a cutting-edge technology that is still developing rapidly. The major objective of medical robots’ integration in healthcare is to establish a higher degree of precision in surgical procedures, which has not yet been accomplished by human capabilities alone. This level of precision has increased what classifies medical robots as a special and beneficial addition to the field of medicine. The field of medical robotics offers significant potential for enhancing the capabilities of physicians and surgeons when performing complex surgical procedures, or when there is a strong need for medical diagnosis and treatment.
It is important to remember that using medical robotics is not at all intended to replace the work of medical experts; rather, it should be considered as a tool to improve their efficiency.
In 1980s, the first robots in the medical field provided surgical assistance via robotic arm technologies.
- This technology enables surgeons to perform surgery in a shorter amount of time by making more precise, tiny incisions. The ability to do these tiny incisions allows for a quicker recovery for patients and a shorter stay in the hospital. In addition to lowering hospital care-related medical costs, this also significantly reduces patients’ suffering.
- Moreover, autonomous mobile robots are used throughout hospitals and clinics. They can clean and disinfect surfaces along predefined pathways (Ex: help to reduce exposure to pathogens during the COVID-19 pandemic) or they can self-navigate throughout facilities, engaging with patients and enabling physicians to consult remotely.
- The use of robotics and automation also extends to research laboratories where they are used to automate manual, repetitive, and high-volume tasks so technicians and scientists can concentrate on more strategic tasks that make rapid discoveries.
Main 2 benefits of robotics in healthcare
- High quality patient care – Medical robots support minimally invasive procedures, individualized and frequent monitoring for patients with chronic diseases, intelligent therapeutics, and social engagement for elderly patients. Additionally, when robots reduce workloads, nurses and other healthcare providers can contact with patients in more empathetic way, which can improve patients’ long-term wellbeing.
- Provide safe work environment – To help keep healthcare workers safe, Robots are used to transport supplies and linens in hospitals where pathogen exposure is a risk. Cleaning and disinfection robots limit pathogen exposure while helping reduce hospital acquired infections. Social robots, also help with heavy lifting, such as moving beds or patients, which reduces physical strain on healthcare workers. Additionally, these robots can be used in long-term care environments to provide social interaction and monitoring. They may encourage patients to comply with treatment regimens or provide cognitive engagement, helping to keep patients alert and positive. They can also be used to offer directions to visitors and patients inside the hospital environment.