Technology has taken many industries to new heights. From Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning to innovative robots that are able to perform tasks that only humans could manage years ago. In the healthcare industry, robots have taken new strides to assist healthcare providers with tasks like diagnostics to various surgical procedures. Here are a few major areas that robots have impacted in the healthcare industry.
While surgery isn’t fully at the point that robots can take over without human interaction, there are definitely pathways being paved. Today, various surgical procedures are being performed by medical professionals, with the help of innovative robots to improve the process. Often, during minimally invasive surgical procedures, robotic arms are used and operated by a medical professional that is usually seated in a different area outside of the procedure room. Dental procedures are becoming one of the areas where robots are being used for assistance.
Telemedicine and telepresence are starting to play a very large role within the medical field. The concept behind telepresence was designed to give medical professionals a way into different areas of the world, and underprivileged communities that may not have access to proper medical care. For example, top physicians in large cities such as New York or Los Angeles, are now able to connect and communicate with physicians and patients overseas that are seeking further medical insights to help better diagnose and treat medical issues.
Many patients that undergo a procedure or go through something such as a stroke or a serious injury need to go through a rehabilitation period. Rehabilitation, depending on the case of the patient, often improves strength, mobility, and coordination. Robots are being adopted into the rehabilitation world to improve these processes and further assist patients with their recovery process. Mark Crawford states, “These robots can be programmed to adapt to the condition of each patient as they recover from strokes, traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries, or neurobehavioral or neuromuscular diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Virtual reality integrated with rehabilitation robots can also improve balance, walking, and other motor functions.”
While robots are making a great impact on the healthcare industry, many have raised concerns that they could potentially take over jobs that are done by trained medical professionals. Though they may be designed as fully functional assistants, it’s safe to say that many jobs within the medical field require human action.
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