Robots refer to any machine that is developed and designed to carry out repetitive and dull tasks in any setting. In the healthcare industry, robots are mainly used to carry out tasks that are considered difficult or impossible for health officials to execute. Some of the main areas that robots are use in healthcare include; non-intrusive surgery, monitoring of the heart rate of critical patients and exoskeletons for immobile patients among other tasks.
Robotic Applications in Healthcare
· Surgical systems
This involves the use of robotic arms and a console to control a surgical operation. It allows the surgeon to carry out the operation with the help of the robotic arms from any part of the world.
· Radiosurgery system
This robotic application involves the use a robotic arm to determine the exact location of a cancerous tumor and direct radiation energy at it without having to make an incision. Not only is this robotic procedure very accurate and efficient, it also leaves no scars behind on the skin of the patient.
· Massage system
Developed to help patients with nerve system complications, massage systems incorporate collaborative robot arms from to give the patients a world class experience. The use of this technology from Universal Robots enables health technicians to tailor the massage experience differently for each and every patient. This is possible because collaborative robots are easy to install and program. They also allow the health person to work alongside the robots to provide the best care for the patient.
Why Use Robots in Healthcare
1. Human error
Many hospitals have had to deal with legal law suits filed against them by patients who experienced side effects due to the carelessness of a doctor. The use of robots in the medical world helps to reduce human error when dealing with patients as the robots are very accurate and precise in the execution of their duties.
2. Invisible scars
By using robots during operations, the insertions done are very small leaving invisible scars. People are opting for robot operations so as to minimize the number of scars on their body.
Impact of Robot use in Healthcare
Robots are being used in hospitals to execute task which are dull and repetitive or those which are considered to be dangerous for humans to execute. They help to reduce the amount of workload that one worker is handling and eliminates the risks that health officers are exposed to while executing the dangerous tasks.
Although hospitals are deriving massive benefits from the use of robots such as reducing the operational costs and helping doctors to save the lives of many patients, there is a fear that robots will replace a large number of health workers. The workers whose jobs are at risk include those whose jobs don’t have a high level of technicality such as nurses.
Although it is good to adopt the changes in technology that are prevailing in the market, it is crucial for health institutions to take a step back and develop alternate measure of running the institution in case the robots break down while executing its duties. There is a need to have personnel dedicated to providing human support to the robots in case of software break down and ensure smooth running of operations.
The Future of Robotics in Healthcare
As technological advancement increases in the world today, it is crucial for health workers to be involved in retraining programs that prepares them for the change. Equipping themselves with skills needed to operate the robots will ensure that they retain their jobs when automation is done at their workplace.
The market for healthcare robots is expected to have an investment of over 6 billion dollars by 2020 as robotic manufacturers try to keep up with the growing demand for non-invasive robotic procedures. Making an investment in the robotic medical field is therefore not a bad idea based on the projected growth of the industry.