Posted on May 20, 2012. Filed under: .. |

Robotic Advancements in the Healthcare Industry

The last decade has seen numerous technological advancements in the field of robotics. Robots are no longer confined to university labs and research facilities; instead, they are being designed and programmed for use in the real world at an increasing rate. Given the usefulness they have already demonstrated in the medical field, robots are now being specifically developed for healthcare assistance both in the hospital and at home.

Hospital Healthcare

As Teachers

There is little room for error in the field of medicine. As such, medical schools have begun employing robots to teach students important health-care lessons. By interacting with robots programmed to imitate the discomfort and pain felt by real patients, medical students can gain valuable experience regarding diagnoses and treatment. Since these “live” robots can mimic human feelings, they can also help soon-to-be doctors improve on their bedside manner when dealing with sensitive patients.

As Surgeons

Surgeons are now able to utilize robots for assistance during surgery. Robots can make extremely precise incisions, allowing doctors to take on complicated surgeries that were previously impossible. These nifty surgical assistants can make incisions smaller than anything the human hand is capable of doing. Smaller incisions mean shorter surgeries, resulting in a better prognosis for patients as well as in reduced costs and shorter hospital stays.

Examples of surgical robots includethe Da Vinci Si HD Surgical System

How much time do you give doctors before they’re obsolete? A decade?

Or… the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System

I bet it’s this model that starts the robot rebellion; when’s John Connor coming back?

Healthcare at Home

As Caretakers

In addition to their use in hospitals, personal healthcare robots are being designed to serve as “nurses,” monitoring and caring for patients in their homes. Specialized robots, such as the<a href=”http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~flo/scope.html”&gt; Nursebot</a>, are programmed to take care of patients with dementia. Not only do these robots ensure the patient’s safety but also provide comfort to their patients, should they become frightened or disoriented.

Robots such as the <a href=”http://www.cyberdyne.jp/english/robotsuithal/”>Hybrid Assistive Limb 5</a>, fondly known as HAL-5, can provide assistance to the elderly in numerous regards. They can complete household chores and perform heavy lifting, thereby reducing the chance of injury in older patients living at home. Because these robots are able to provide patient care, safety, comfort and assistance in the home, patients will no longer be confined to live out their days in hospitals and nursing homes.

 

 

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Great article, I really enjoyed this one! It’s funny, I’ve been thinking a great deal about AI and robotics lately in terms of the fiction we produce on the topic. About 90% of it is fearmongering “Robots are gonna kill us all”, yet any half decent nerd knows that’s just nonsense. I’d like to see some new fiction where the AI is actually the GOOD guy :). And I’m working on it!

I’m @jasongw for AllThatNerdyStuff.com 🙂

I was worried that my readers (all 5 of them?? lol) were going to think, “Oh great, there she goes talking about robots again. When is she going to realize that she won’t be able to buy one to serve as a personal maid for a long time. She is just lazy.” And then I think, “Oh man, they’re right!” and subsequently start wishing for robots as soon as I have to get up to do anything. hehe.

Thanks for the comment! Did you check out my new video game blog?


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