Medical robotics are bringing greater accuracy to surgical procedures and efficiencies to hospitals and clinics. Medical technology is rapidly expanding, and the surgical robotics field is also thriving.
While Intuitive Surgical dominated the field when it hit the market, other major players, such as Johnson & Johnson, Stryker, Hansen, Brainlab, Microbot Medical, and Medtronic are making inroads in the sector. As the MedTech sector is exploring various applications in healthcare, it is also attracting new companies. Presented in part two are a variety of medical conditions, types, capabilities, and advances in robotic surgery that will lead to new applications and opportunities.
The use of robotic surgery has been proven to be successful in treating a variety of medical conditions. The following are some examples of robotic-assisted surgeries.
- General surgery
- Gynecological surgery
- Colorectal surgery
- Thoracic surgery
- Pulmonology surgery
- Head and neck surgery
- Cardiology/Heart surgery
- Urologic surgery
As robotic surgery evolves, more intelligent robotic surgery systems are becoming available that can perform more procedures. In this article, we will dive into various types of advanced surgical robots that have driven the healthcare sector to new heights with their capabilities.
Robots that provide surgical assistance has become more accurate as motion control technologies have advanced. With machine learning and computer vision capabilities, they can help surgeons carry out intricate operations at new levels of speed and accuracy. If surgeons are using hi-tech surgical robots, then such a system may even complete the task autonomously, allowing surgeons to supervise procedures from a console.
Clinical robotic surgery systems typically have a camera arm and mechanical arms attached to surgical instruments. During surgery, the surgeon controls the arms from a computer console near the operating table that displays a high-resolution magnified 3D view of the operative site.
Different types of surgeries for medical conditions such as general, gynecological, thoracic, heart, orthopedic, and many more can be addressed with surgical-assisted robots.
A modular robot can be programmed to perform several tasks and complement existing systems. The therapeutic use of robots in healthcare includes exoskeletons and prosthetic arms and legs. These robots can help with the recovery of patients who have suffered from strokes, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, or other serious medical conditions. Using artificial intelligence, these robots monitor progress in various positions and detect degrees of motion in a patient’s pattern as they perform recommended exercises. In addition, they can also help in counseling and motivating patients through communication.
Service robots can do multiple jobs from streamlining routine drills such as cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing the entire hospital premises. It is possible to use these robots to maintain inventory and place orders on time, making sure that supplies, equipment, and medicine are accessible when needed. Service robots can smoothly handle logistic duties, set up patient rooms and beds, transport various hospital supplies and accomplish many more tasks with great consistency.
In the future, self-navigating robots with depth cameras could direct patients in consulting or hospital rooms. This will allow health professionals to communicate remotely without having to physically intervene. Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) can be controlled with the help of a remote by the doctor or healthcare staff. This will enable doctors to use AMRs to follow them around the hospitals during In-patient Department ( IPD) rounds and on-screen consultations on patient treatment and care. These robots are so well programmed that they can monitor their batteries and, if necessary, return to charging stations. Again, these types of robots are very well programmed for doing multitasking jobs.
Social Robotic Companions
The healing process begins with love and care through companionship. It makes life much more pleasant when you have someone you can sit with and talk to. By doing so, people receive emotional support and reduce stress levels. Researchers have found that social robots provide emotional support to patients through human interaction. The robot “Stevie”, built by Trinity College Dublin researchers, serves as a great example of how a robot companion can be designed to work.
These “friendly” robots are used in long-term care facilities to provide social interaction, health, and environment monitoring. In addition to providing holistic care, these social robots can inspire patients to follow treatment programs in order to keep them alert and cheerful. Also, they can assist patients and visitors with directions. In general, social robots contribute to the improved emotional well-being of patients while reducing caregiver workloads.
Despite its current stage of development, robotic surgery seems to be very promising. In the healthcare industry, robotic technology has already set benchmarks in a variety of applications. The use of surgical robots not only allows surgeons to focus on more complex aspects of surgery but also enables them to make better surgical decisions with improved precision and autonomy. Patients and doctors both benefit from these systems.
The development of machine learning, data analytics, computer vision, advanced sensors, haptic, and other technologies will continue to make health robotics become more advanced. Automated, efficient, and precise tasks will continue to be performed by robots of all types. As a result of advancements in artificial intelligence and autonomic smart functionality, new-generation robotic systems may revolutionize surgical procedures in a cost-effective and refined fashion.
The challenge for robotic surgery in the future will be demonstrating hi-tech advancements in their system to improve surgical performance and patient outcomes. After all, the purpose of surgical robots is not to replace surgeons, but rather to enhance the skills of skilled surgeons.