Robotics and their help in the healthcare field is nothing new. There was a plan in early 1985 on how to transform these precise machines from performing surgery to something beyond revolutionary. Technology has developed unimaginably fast from the early 2000’s Davinci Robot to the famous grape surgery. However impressive all these looks, a robot is still under the control of humans. Robotics when combined with artificial intelligence can create a system that can outperform the best doctor. But, at the same time, the knowledge a human holds and the expertise a medical staff has are still unmatchable to the machines. Hence the robotic advancements in the medical field are taking place where the job of a doctor and the effort of medical staff can be seamless and accurate to provide best in class support to the patient. Let us have a look at robotics development and how they are supporting the healthcare industry.
From the Robots we know to the robots we need to know
We have read and seen much robotic presence in the healthcare sector. From monitoring the vitals of a patient to carrying supplies. From making surgeries to automatically updating the patient health information. From keeping the room clean to give the patient company, a lot of improvement has happened in this field. Let us understand clearly how robotics is progressing every single day, making its presence undeniably strong.
Different Types of robotic development
Surgical-Assistance: With advancing technologies in motion control, robotics into surgical assistance has become more precise. These type of robots help surgeons to operate complex micro procedures like making an accurate incision than a larger one. The continuously evolving surgical robotics can enable Artificial Intelligence into the robots. This can help a robot to view through a computer vision and navigate along the human body. This can help to travel any specific area in the body whilst avoiding nerves and other relative obstacles. Mostly two types of surgeries are taken place with Robots, they are either minimally invasive or Orthopedic.
Modular: In this kind, the robots will improve the efficiency of other systems and can be customized to execute multiple functions. These type of robots are like the therapeutic exoskeleton and the prosthetic arms and legs. The first type can aid in the rehabilitation of traumatic conditions like strokes, brain injuries, paralysis, multiple sclerosis. Equipped with depth cameras and Artificial Intelligence, they can monitor patients more accurately than a human eye can. They measure the motion of body part and track the progress efficiently. Few modular models are designed to encourage and coach patients to overcome emotional imbalance through the process.
Service: These robots are designed to assist healthcare workers to handle routine tasks. Most of these robots work autonomously and send a completion report upon finishing a task. Cleaning and setting up patient’s room, file purchase orders, tracking supplies, restocking, transporting laundry facilities are a few of many logistical routines a health worker does on daily basis. By shifting these tasks to a robot the staff can concentrate more on the immediate needs of a patient.
Social: This type of robots are designed to directly interact with humans. They provide a continuous care atmosphere by providing monitoring and interaction. They help to keep up the positivity in the treatment process of a patient by encouragement and alertness. They can offer assistance to the visitors and the inpatient by directing when needful. They are made mostly to reduce the workload of caregivers and enhance patient’s well-being.
Mobile: These robots move around with a predefined track or wire. They are used for many purposes like moving huge medical machinery, disinfecting rooms, transport patients are a few to name. They can uniformly do this job without any human to have it checked further. Like, say disinfection, they do it with UV light, air filtration or spraying vapours of hydrogen peroxide to every reachable place, minimalizing or eliminating the presence or trace of infection which is humanly impossible.
Autonomous: In times like pandemic, these Autonomous robots are vividly used to interact with patients. They are LiDAR made. That is a Light detection and ranging methodology enhances the visual computation. This enables the doctor to address a patient with all the health information updated as and when checked. They can also help themselves to recharge when the batteries are running low.
Potential Benefits robotic development
- Improve accuracy: Precision is the biggest advantage of having a robot in this sector. From having an accurate incision to deploying drugs locally, they can perform tasks with excellence and in errorless mode. With the right software accompanying and moving the human to the monitoring seat they can perform minute surgeries with the utmost care, like, removing the clogs in the blood vessels.
- Precise diagnosis: With artificial intelligence as the superpower, these robots are equipped to diagnose more precisely than the best pathologist ever. For example, IBM Watson has created a benchmark of 99% accuracy in diagnosing cancers in Realtime, beating the Japanese endoscopic system of detecting colon cancer with 86% accuracy in realtime.
- Remote Treatment: The idea of remote treatment came into the light in the early 1990s at the battlefields, where sending some human doctors to monitor means losing more humans. But with compromising communication networks, the entire process seemed tiring at that time but is a reality now with the 4G and the upcoming 5G networks. How about the robot treating the first COVID19 patient in the US, with a human console.
- Augment human efficiency: The robots can not just assist the field of healthcare but be another human in the care unit. Many modular robots can train paralysis patients to walk again. They have no heart and can be repetitive with no hope to lose. Hence the way they follow-up such cases have seen more progress than a human motivator.
- Great support: The robots like the social ones, can help relieve depression and support good mental health to patients, when in need. They have an inbuilt sentiment analysis system, that helps to motivate a patient accordingly thereby helping them stay positive.
As with our generations, robots in the healthcare sector is nothing new. With such types of evolving advancements, it seems more beneficial to have a robot around for auxiliary functioning than doubting to incorporate along. It is, in short, a great technological revolution out of which one need to reap its fullest advantage.