In the digital era, Robots are becoming essential to human lives. It is making our lives incredibly comfortable and simple. In the healthcare industry, robotics can perform all tasks more perfectly than humans.
You can also get affordable services with robotics in healthcare. It enables the nurses to track multiple patients simultaneously and advises them when a human doctor is required. Additionally, they are lowering the dangers associated with surgery for the patients. No wonder robots are great blessings in the healthcare sector.
Robots will become more autonomous as technology advances, eventually carrying out specific jobs independently. As a result, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals will get more time to devote to directly caring for patients.
Let’s learn about the future of robotics in healthcare.
Definition and Scope of Robotics in Healthcare
Robotics is the study area devoted to creating robots and automation, while a robot is a programmable machine that can execute a task. Different robots have varying degrees of autonomy. These levels range from autonomous bots that operate independently to bots that humans control and accomplish tasks.
With technological advancement, the scope of robotics also progresses. Robotics is revolutionizing surgical procedures in the medical field by automating supply delivery and disinfection and giving medical professionals more time to serve and interact with patients. Robots are now used in clinical settings outside operating rooms to help medical staff and enhance patient care. Hospitals and clinics started utilizing robots for broader duties during the COVID-19 pandemic to decrease pathogen exposure. It is apparent that health robotics’s operational effectiveness and risk mitigation contribute value in several ways. Robots in healthcare have certain benefits.
Stats and Facts Related To Robotics in Healthcare
- The market potential for medical robots in the APAC region is growing swiftly; it was estimated to be USD 1.59 billion in 2021 and is expected to be USD 4.54 billion by 2026.
- The market for medical robotics worldwide was estimated to be worth about 11 billion dollars in 2021. Market research firm Next Move Strategy Consulting predicted that by 2030 the market would be worth over 44 billion USD.
- In 2021, collaborative robots were sold in around 35,000 units worldwide, with about 8,500 units (or about 25%) sold in the USA.
- According to the report by PWC, In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, more than half (54%) of those polled said they would be open to using AI and robotics for healthcare, and close to half—up to 73%—were even willing to have minor surgery done by a robot.
These stats clearly say that robotics in healthcare provides excellent benefits to patients and healthcare organizations. In the coming years, robotics will significantly influence the healthcare industry.
Importance of robotics in healthcare
According to medical tradition, a surgeon must possess both diagnostic and surgical abilities for operations to be effective. Robotic surgeries have thus far been successful in the past. According to the history of robotics in healthcare, robots are more useful during operations since they operate faster and in a secure environment. Robotics in healthcare has great importance. Let’s have a look:
- They give the patient proper care and treatment; in doing so, the robots periodically provide the doctor and the patient’s family members with proper check-ups and reports. They give the patients greater empathy so they can recuperate for a long time.
- They move big objects to lessen the staff’s workload and provide a safe atmosphere for the patient. They also give patients medications when there is a risk of infection for the workers because robots are immune to illness and do not distribute it.
- In some clinical settings, the doctors merely adhere to the proper schedule they have created in their minds. They work quickly and are always on time. They swiftly and damage-free sanitized the space.
Current Applications of Robotics in Healthcare
There are various robots you will find in the healthcare sector. Let’s have a look:
- Telepresence: In rural or isolated places, some doctors employ robots to check patients and even administer whole treatments when necessary.
- Robotic surgical assistants: These machines help surgeons during operations in remote locations. The doctors can control the robots ‘ hands and legs while seated outside the room or on a chair beside the patient. It helps make routine surgeries successful and even more straightforward.
- Robots for rehabilitation: Robots for rehabilitation are primarily made to aid in the patient’s recovery. Additionally, it enhances the patient’s responsiveness, coordination, strength, and mobility. They can improve a patient’s walking, talking, and many other abilities.
- Sanitation and disinfection robots: Bacteria and diseases are getting worse every day. Therefore, since germs are everywhere and can infect anyone, the robots are designed to clean the surfaces and maintain cleanliness in hospitals to prevent patients from contracting diseases or becoming infected with any bacteria.
- Robotic prescription dispensing system: The fundamental advantage of robots is that they complete tasks quickly and accurately.
- Medical transportation robots: Robots that deliver pharmaceuticals from one location to another are called medical transportation robots. While doctors and staff personnel may forget to give patients their medications, robots cannot do so and ensure that the patient receives the correct dose at the right time.
Uses of Robotics in Healthcare
In healthcare, robots have a wide range of uses and advantages constantly expanding. Here are some uses of Robotics in healthcare-
- Robot-assisted Surgery and Radiotherapy: The advantages of robotics in the healthcare area are profound. By holding tools stationary as they are utilized with precise precision using a variety of attachments and disposable accessories, surgical robots can help surgeons. They can move a patient during radiotherapy without requiring anyone to enter the room, shortening the duration of the process.
- Laboratory: Using robots in laboratory settings eliminates human error, speeds up operations, and frees workers’ time to focus on more essential duties, as is the case with automating any process. Increased employee satisfaction and lower overall costs are the outcomes. Lab robots can also carry out jobs that might be detrimental to people, such as those involving dangerous chemicals.
- Prosthetics: Over time, robotic appendages have progressed from simple actions like gripping and walking to more intricate ones like precise finger movement and squatting or jumping. Artificial limbs can assist patients in regaining motor function and improving the quality of life for individuals who use them. Even the development of mind-controlled robotics is in progress.
- Social support: Social robots, also called care robots, are experts at addressing the emotional needs of patients, particularly the old or the lonely. These robots can entertain themselves by conversing and playing games while watching for warning indications of distress and responding to cries for assistance. In addition to helping patients get out of bed, they take their temperature and nag them to remember to take their meds. In countries like Japan, where there is an influx of senior residents but the number of carers is declining, this medical equipment sector is anticipated to expand further.
- Hospital robots: Nursing robots, like those used in laboratories, can complete boring or repetitive duties, freeing medical professionals to focus on more human-centric tasks. The typical chores these robots can assist with include:
- Taking blood.
- Cleaning rooms.
- Taking vital signs.
- Lifting and transferring patients.
- Delivering supplies like medication and lab specimens.
The support increases employee satisfaction and lowers turnover.
Benefits and Challenges
By automating tedious, repetitive, and administrative duties, robotics in the healthcare sector will allow organizations to free up personnel’s time for other crucial, non-automated jobs. Additionally, robotics in healthcare reduces the number of time-consuming visits, speeds up surgeries, develops individualized care, and boosts surgical success rates.
Robots boost ergonomics and comfort for surgeons in surgical settings, enabling larger procedural volumes because surgeons are less worn out. Additionally, robots assist in removing human mistakes from high-risk procedures.
- Excellent Patient Care: Intelligent therapies, regular and individualized monitoring for patients with chronic diseases, minimally invasive operations, and social interaction for elderly patients are all made possible by medical robots. Additionally, when robots reduce workloads, nurses and other healthcare providers can contact patients more personally and show compassion, improving patients’ long-term well-being.
- Clinical Workflows That Are Streamlined: Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) streamline regular tasks, ease the physical burden on human workers, and promote more reliable operations. By keeping track of inventories and timely ordering, these robots can help ensure that supplies, equipment, and medications are available where they are required, addressing staffing shortages and issues. Cleaning and sanitizing AMRs allow hospital rooms to be promptly cleaned and prepared for new patients, freeing up staff members to concentrate on patient-centered, value-driven work.
- Safe Work Environment: Healthcare personnel is no longer exposed to certain occupational risks when heavy lifting is done by nurse robots, such as shifting hospital beds or lifting patients. In hospitals where a risk of pathogen exposure exists, AMRs move supplies and linens to protect the safety of medical personnel. Robotic cleaning and disinfection systems decrease the spread of pathogens while lowering hospital-acquired illnesses.
Robots in healthcare are super popular. With time, more and more hospitals are including robots. However, some challenges come with robots in the healthcare-
- Emotional Support and Development: Developing and providing emotional support for robots in healthcare is one of the difficulties. Human interaction is crucial, and patients receiving care require emotional support. While robots can do practically all duties associated with caregiving, they cannot provide the human interaction necessary for human development. Therefore, human carers will always be required to provide emotional support to patients because robots in the healthcare industry cannot entirely replace human interactions.
- Social Acceptance: Another key obstacle to the use of robots in healthcare is social acceptance. Public assistance from robots will indirectly publicize patients’ illnesses or impairments. While some patients might not mind, some will object to being the center of attention and refuse to use robots in the future. This requires the designers to create medical robots that are acceptable to society. It is critical to ensure that the robot’s design is not threatening and can fit in with its surroundings.
- Privacy and Security: There are substantial privacy and security problems when using robots in healthcare. Robotics in healthcare requires extensive data collection from sensors, cameras, and other devices. Hackers may change the data collected for a variety of cybercrimes. This includes manipulating the video, photos, and location data. It is imperative to ensure that healthcare robots have robust security mechanisms to protect sensitive data.
What role will robots play in healthcare in the future?
Healthcare robots will improve healthcare service delivery quality, operational efficiencies, accuracy, and safety via new applications and functionalities. The development of AI will give robotics a new dimension. As anticipated, using robotics and artificial intelligence will speed up and significantly improve the safety of the operation. In addition, data analytics and advancements in hardware and software will broaden the application of robots in additional healthcare settings. The market for healthcare robots will grow even more due to investments and collaborations between robotic firms and healthcare providers. The primary issues to be solved, though, will still be the price of the robots and how affordable they are for the average person.
Let’s talk with Parangat Technologies.
With roll up sleeves, dive in and get the job done approach, it was in the year 2010 when Sahil started Parangat Technologies. Emphasizing a healthy work culture and technology-driven company, he has successfully created a workplace where people love to work and live. He is a software engineer and a passionate blockchain enthusiast.