According to a study conducted in 2018, the medical robots market is projected to reach £12.84 billion by 2023, at a compounded annual growth rate of a whopping 21%. This health industry growth is driven mainly by the increasing use of medical robots in delivering efficient healthcare in hospitals all over the world. Robots are now widespread in these five healthcare service areas.
Physicians often use robots to represent their presence remotely while consulting with other practitioners or patients. Equipped with sophisticated cameras and sensor systems, telepresence robots enable doctors and surgeons to take part in medical procedures and examinations while sited miles away. By using this engaging communication approach, both parties relay immediate feedback in both audio and video.
Remote-controlled robots are nothing new in minimally invasive surgical procedures. Only recently, a fully automated surgical robot was unveiled. Capable of performing delicate incisions and careful stitching automatically, this new brand of highly intelligent surgical robots is set to revolutionise robotic surgery. These robots run on a sophisticated artificial intelligence brain fed in real time by numerous sensors to interpret and comprehend various medical parameters.
Prescription dispensing systems
Several pharmacies have installed automated robotic dispensing systems to assist in fulfilling prescriptions and to improve the efficiency of their dispensing system. The robots use pre-programmed instructions to locate and deliver the requested prescription. To accommodate a robotic dispensing system, however, a pharmacy needs to optimise their shelving and storage scheme to suit robotic manoeuvrability.
Hospitals have several internal transportation needs, from medical supplies, samples, drugs, paperwork and even meals. Luckily, medical transportation robots are here to help. By adopting the same autonomous technology used in self-driving vehicles, transportation robots are capable of navigating long, difficult routes to deliver their cargo. Each robot can be specialised to carry one type of cargo or even have different compartments for various parcels.
Recovery and rehabilitation
Every year millions of patients need recovery and rehabilitation from physical injuries and trauma. The recovery process is a long mentally and physically challenging journey requiring constant assistance. Emotional and physical support robots are some of the latest additions in recovery and rehabilitation treatments. While therapeutic robots and prosthetics help rebuild natural movement in injury patients, companion dolls able to understand physical touch and distinct emotion to some extent help patients deal with psychological torture.
There is no stopping the encroachment of robots in medical fields, as long as advancements in AI and robotics continue to grow and as more patients and physicians appreciate the benefits of using robotics and similar emerging innovations.