Robots In Medicine – Improving Procedures And Reducing Costs
Find out how robotics is a rapidly expanding portion of medical treatments.
Robotics in medicine is producing great results in many ways, especially in the area of surgery. The term robotics means the use of a robot to perform various functions. A robot has movable physical structure, a power source, a sensor system, and a computerized ‘brain’ to control activities.
Surgeons of the future will use robotics to perform surgical tasks. Robotics still requires the expertise of the surgeon to operate, but the instruments used by robotics improve the control, the precision, as well as often minimize the invasiveness of surgical procedures.
Robotics is being used for things like gall bladder surgery, endoscopy, and many other surgeries. Basically, here’s how robotics surgery works. The surgeon looks into a viewfinder to see images being sent by a camera that’s inside the patient. Images show the surgical site and the surgical instruments. Controls, much like a joystick are used by the surgeon to manipulate the instruments and perform the surgery.
Patients with robotics surgery have smaller incisions, shorter hospital stays, and normally faster recovery time. This reduces costs and gives the patient the ability to return to normal activities in a much shorter time span.
Surgical procedures aren’t the only place robotics can be used in medicine. Developers are continuously working on new ways to allow robotics to perform tasks. One area that’s especially promising in the control of disease and the prevention of diseases being spread. Areas that could be harmful for hospital personnel can be sterilized by using robotics. Some other types of procedures are sterilizing floors, delivering lab specimens, pulling patients on stretchers to rooms.
Advocates of using more robotics in medicine feel that the benefits far outweigh any negative constraints. However, in some instances the question of the patient’s emotional state has been questioned. Most people feel more secure when being transported by a human than having a robot transport them. There are other instances where human interaction can have a positive effect on the patient.
How far will the loss of human interaction go in the medical community? At this point, it seems there will be little attention paid to the humanistic side of using robotics in medicine. Obviously, in areas where the patient is virtually unaware, as during surgery, there is little reason not to employ robotics.
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This article was posted on August 24, 2006
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