The robotics industry is growing by billions of dollars and is expected to reach record heights in 2025. Many people are already aware of how robotics has influenced manual jobs. AI and robotics are often discussed in the context of transportation, warehouses, and grocery stores.
It’s also making a big splash in the world of healthcare. In this article, we take a look at how robots are influencing the healthcare industry, and what this means for patient outcomes.
What Are the Benefits of Introducing Robotics to Hospitals?
Robotics are brought in for hospitals to perform standard care tasks in a way that humans can’t. For example, robots can perform surgery quicker and more accurately than humans. They can’t “see” things humans can’t with the help of sensors and AI technology.
The result? Better patient outcomes. Enhanced operational efficiency.
Robotics coupled with AI can assist with streamlining surgery. They benefit patients and hospitals alike by making surgical cuts as minimal and unintrusive as possible. The larger the incision, the longer the recovery time for the patients.
Robotic-driven surgeries have been shown to expedite recovery while also lowering rates of infection, and producing better overall outcomes for the surgery. While once obscure, more surgeons are being trained every day to work alongside robotic equipment.
The da Vinci robot is a particularly well-known robot that is known for making button-sized incisions that consistently produce good patient outcomes.
Currently, no robot can perform surgery from start to finish. This may or may not change in the future as AI and robotic technology continue to grow and improve. For now, however, robotics is a great aid for doctors who are interested in using technology to improve their practice.
Therapeutic robots can be implemented to help patients with their physical therapy. The robots function by monitoring patients’ movements. These units are usually equipped with cameras and AI technology that can monitor patient performance significantly better than the bare human eye is capable of.
Service robots are designed to automatically take care of very simple tasks that might otherwise be time-consuming or difficult to perform by overworked hospital staff. This could include doing inventories, setting up patient rooms, and other minor maintenance and upkeep tasks.
Once a service robot’s task has been performed, it can automatically send updates so that human employees can keep track of what has or has not been done.
Social Robots perform a range of tasks. They may feature human-like faces and can be implemented to keep elderly people company. They are frequently found in nursing homes, or other long-term patient care facilities.
In hospitals, they may be used to keep patients company, or more informally, to greet people as they enter, and provide directions, or other basic information.
AI communication capabilities remain relatively basic. Nevertheless, social robots have shown grown promise for lifting the spirits of patients that might otherwise be lonely.
Mobile robots move along a predetermined track, similar to a miniature rail line. They may be used to sanitize predetermined spaces or to carry heavy equipment. In some situations, they may even assist with patient transport.
Only the Beginning
Even though robotics has technically been involved in the healthcare industry since the 80s, it’s safe to say that the relationship is still in its early stages. The robotics industry is expected to grow in leaps and bounds over the next few years. With it will come better, more effective technology.
For now, the influence of robotics and healthcare can still be seen in better patient outcomes. Surgical robotics is a particularly prominent example of how new technology can have a significant impact on patient outcomes.
As long as technology continues to shorten recovery times and improve results, robots will continue to play a role in the healthcare system.