Robotic assistance during surgery is not new, and it has been around for a number of years. But AI isn’t yet capable of performing as well as a human doctor; the tech is currently only able to assist and help to diagnose problems more accurately.
In this article, we will look at the medical procedures where robots are used and where they will eventually come to take over the entire procedure without human interference.
Robotic surgery, otherwise known as robotically-assisted surgery, utilises the latest technology to help doctors perform complex procedures with greater precision.
Often used in keyhole surgery, engineers developed this type of medical technology to help give practitioners control and flexibility in the smaller incisions. Meanwhile, it helps to minimise the risks of open surgery by offering high-definition imagery of the site.
This technology takes eHealth to the next level, aiding patients in having shorter recovery times and fewer post-operative complications. Today, it’s relatively commonplace in many hospitals. Yet, it continues to advance and develop to meet the needs of surgeons.
When people think of robotics and healthcare, prosthetic limbs are often the first thing that comes to mind. Instead of having an inanimate prosthetic limb, advances in robotic technologies are helping patients to control their prosthetics in a biologically accurate fashion. These innovations in humanoid robots are helping to make the prosthetics look and feel more life-like.
In a step further, robotics have enabled advancements in exoskeletons, helping paralysed patients to walk again.
If you take 3D printing and apply it to medicine, you get bioprinting. This technology creates tissue-like materials, imitating skin, organs, and other natural structures in the body. As a growing market, worth an estimated $1.2 billion in 2019, it’s an industry to keep an eye on.
This biotechnology is currently used to aid researchers in testing new drugs and medications instead of animal testing or human trials.
In the eyes of many, it’s a more ethical option. However, its possibilities for improving healthcare are endless. For example, bioprinting could help to reduce the wait times for those needing organ transplants and much more.
3 areas we see robotic assistance in health care
Heart specialist surgeons have to rely on AI assistance during heart surgery for many reasons. As an example, robots are currently able to repair heart valves and remove tumours.
Due to their accuracy, these operations are often much less invasive than they would be, reduce the possibility of complications and reduce recovery times.
Knee replacement surgery
Arthritis is a painful debilitating condition that can make movement difficult for those suffering from it, and one answer to the problem of severe arthritis of the knee is to completely replace the knee with artificial parts.
These are typically plastic and metal components, and surgeons often use robot arms to successfully shape the bone to best fit the new implant, then insert the implant into the cavity.
Vision corrective surgery
Any surgical procedure on the eye is going to be a delicate job, but with surgical and assistive robotics, these operations can be achieved a lot quicker and without the risk of damage to other parts of the eye.
Work on the retina at the back of the eye can be achieved by using a robot to make an incision just below the pupil, a delicate operation that would normally need an extremely steady human hand.
Now, it can be done by a surgeon by using a robotic arm with video camera feedback for high-resolution imagery so that the highly delicate procedure goes off without a hitch.
These are just a few examples of how surgical and assistive robotics are changing the way medical procedures are carried out. It is hoped that as the technology improves, more types of operations will soon be AI-assisted for speedier recovery times and less intrusive surgery.
To find out more about how robotics are helping to innovate healthcare, browse our MedTech directory on appthisway.com.