The robotics industry is in a state of constant evolution. We are witnessing great advances in robotics that have impacted most industries in the last decade. Similarly, the medical field is benefitting immensely from the integration of robotics into healthcare. The first robots used in the medical field can be traced back to the 1980s with the introduction of robotic arm technology. Since then, artificial intelligence has transformed robotics in healthcare, expanding its utilization in many other aspects of medicine. We are only at the initial phase of medical robots. Future innovations in robotics are bound to revolutionize healthcare in leaps and bounds. One cutting-edge technology we will see in the future is intuitive healing.
Robotics has the potential to transform healthcare through automation and improving medical processes, for instance, in patient care and efficient production of medicine in mass. There are quite a number of large tech companies which are at the forefront of developing artificial intelligence and robotics to enhance health care. This article shall look at the recent developments in robotics and artificial intelligence that are transforming the healthcare industry.
For several years now, scientists have been in the process of developing micro-bots. Micro-bots are microscopic bots as tiny as human cells that can travel seamlessly through the human body, performing various medical procedures. Doctors will not need to cut open a patient to perform surgery in the future because the micro-bots would carry out the entire procedure from the inside without causing tissue damage or impacting the body like conventional surgery. Also, scientists are looking at the possibility of micro-bots replacing some pharmaceuticals.
Micro-bots are set to transform healthcare by reducing patient recovery time while making it less painful and more comfortable. However, it could be some time before micro-bots become an everyday tool in healthcare.
Over recent years, with telemedicine’s mainstreaming, AI doctors have become a common phenomenon. For instance, AI algorithms are being deployed to help doctors diagnose conditions earlier and accurately. Artificial Intelligence can create a unique, personalized and meticulous treatment plan for individual patients.
One of the ways that AI health coaches are transforming health care is by using virtual reality fitness games in the post-recovery process. “Supernatural” is a VR fitness game that allows patients to exercise from the safety of their hospital beds or homes, guided by the recording of real trainers in picturesque locations like mountain ranges or waterfalls. Utilizing gaming and Virtual Reality is an effective way to motivate patients in the recovery process.
Robotic exoskeletons are transforming health care in unprecedented ways. Patients recovering from physical injuries that need extensive physical therapy are one of the main beneficiaries of robotic exoskeletons. Exoskeletons are utilized as an external set of bones and muscles. When integrated with robotics, these exoskeletons are used to re-train patients who had lost their mobility how to move again. In some instances, robotic exoskeletons could help physically disabled people to move again.
Besides helping patients physically with movement, the impact of exoskeletons is far-reaching and could be emotionally life-changing. When patients can move by themselves, it restores a sense of independence. Also, moving and going outdoors is incredibly beneficial to the healing process and reduces stress. We can see the importance of patients getting outdoors with more hospitals adding gardens to their facilities.
Healthcare Staff Shortage
The Word Health Organization estimates of health worker shortage by 2030 stands at 18 million personnel. Post Covid-19, more healthcare workers report being overworked and burnout and quite a number are quitting their jobs and changing professions. Artificial intelligence and robotics offer a solution to the healthcare worker shortages by automating repetitive and time-consuming roles, thereby allowing medical staff to focus on tasks that need them the most.
Robotics is being utilized in different facets of health care, such as sanitization, administrative tasks, surgeries and recovery. For instance, nursing robots are being used to monitor patients’ vitals and help lift and transfer patients, which frees up the nursing staff’s time and allows them to offer better care. Robotics and automation will continue to find more use in the future, and harnessing these technologies will help the healthcare industry improve operational efficiency.
The Bottom Line
The contribution of medical robots in healthcare is immense since they make the practice of medicine safer, faster and smarter to benefit both health workers and patients. Robotics and artificial intelligence will remain an integral part of the healthcare industry in the present and future.