Medical Robotics Impact on Surgical Procedures
Date : Mar 30, 2020
Author : DR Armed Zayed
Categories : Health Care
Only a few decades ago, people could barely imagine robotics being a part of daily life, let alone integrate them in surgical procedures. But, with the latest technological advances, robotics is now a major component of the health care industry.
In fact, according to Global Investment research analytics, 1,576 ortho robotic systems are expected to get installed by the end of 2020 worldwide, which is 464 more than the year prior. These results show just how prevalent surgical robots will be in medical institutions all across the globe. This is only the beginning.
Here we will talk about how medical robotics is changing surgical practices, why that matters, and how can that affects patient care. So, let’s get right to it!
Is Medical Robotics Something New?
Believe it or not, surgical robots and medical robotics in general, have been around for quite some time now. One of the most well-known robots for conducting surgical procedures is the Da Vinci System. It has been around for 16 years and is manufactured with very small instruments that can rotate and bend to reach delicate human areas. Even though the surgeon is in complete control over the system, they can carry out a surgical procedure with impeccable precision and accuracy that was otherwise considered impossible. This system has inspired many companies to invest in their own robotics to be improved and released in the future.
How Medical Robotics Is Changing Surgical Practices
According to research, there has been a huge increase in purchases of robotics for surgeries in Europe and North America. While at first, these systems were considered a threat to doctor’s employment; today, the perception has drastically changed.
When we take a look at how they have developed, it’s easy to figure out how medical robotics is changing surgical practices. They’ve only recently made their way into the industry, but have a huge potential in:
- Reducing waste
- It provides better patient care
- Taking care of repetitive tasks
- Brings more sustainability and profit
In a regular hospital, there will plenty of items transported on a daily basis. From meals to linens and medications, it’s easy to start piling pounds and pounds of waste. Robotics designed for mobile logistics meant to take care of these mundane tasks and reduce the staff workload.
Since these robotics are highly advanced, surgeons will be able to undergo extremely demanding and precise surgical procedures with the help of sensors and robotic arms. No matter how repetitive or difficult the task may be, robotics are designed to work over it. According to Anees Fareed, Chief Medical Information Officer, this will bring in more profit and sustainability for the health care system.
Robotics such as these not only can boost the efficiency of operational procedures, but they can also make monitoring patients a lot easier and less time-consuming. Therefore, staff and surgeons will have a lot more time to dedicate to their patients.
What About Lack of Trust?
Ever since robotics were implemented into various industries, there has been a lot of mistrust in these technologies. People are afraid they might malfunction during a procedure, so many clinical experts prefer to take on the old-fashioned approach and do surgery by hand.
To that, M.D. Fareed added that even though the current robotics considered as advanced systems with little possibility of error, they can’t replace human interaction. It’s important to point out that these systems are currently evolving. They are manufactured to bring out the best in the healthcare industry, but it will take more time before they become the ideal versions of advanced technology.
What Are Some Disadvantages Of Robotic Surgery?
Robotics in surgery has been around for quite some time now. However, like everything else, these, too, come with its disadvantages.
- Expensive: The surgery can be a little expensive. The installation procedure of robotic surgery increases the cost of the procedure. Moreover, it’s costly to maintain surgical robots.
- Latency Issue: Another problem with robotic surgery is the problem of latency. The robot can take some time to carry out the commands of the surgeon. The commands inserted in the computer, and it will then communicate it to the robotic arms. Thus, it can take some time. So, surgeons might find it difficult to respond to a problem that takes place during operation.
- High Cost of Maintenance: It involves maintenance costs. To make sure that the robot is always in its best shape, it requires proper maintenance. Not doing so will degrade its efficiency.
How Are Robotics Used In Healthcare?
Robots in local hospitals are changing healthcare. As a matter of fact, they are making a significant impact in the world of medicine.
Robots help medical professionals by relieving them from their personal tasks. It takes time away, even from the most pressing responsibilities. Thus, medical procedures turn out to be much safer and also less costly for patients. Furthermore, robots are capable of performing accurate surgery, even when it is a tiny operation.
Different types of robots used in the world of healthcare. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Several manufacturers are looking to improve their Research and Development efforts within the field of robotic surgery. Companies are coming up with product lines that are emphasizing on specific areas for minimally invasive robotic surgery.
The most use of robotics in the field of surgery is the mechanical arms. These come with surgical equipment and a camera attached to it. Often, robot-assisted operations tend to be minimally invasive. Thus, it serves as an alternative to open surgeries that involves a lot of risks and will take time to recover.
These robots can perform an extensive range of functions for easing the daily burden of doctors, surgeons, and nurses. This includes even a small task like medicine distribution, collecting lab specimens, and various other sensitive materials such as patient data around the hospital.
Robotic systems created for disinfecting equipment and device in a healthcare setting. These days many autonomous technologies used in hospitals.
While many robots designed for use in hospitals or the healthcare system, care robots offer support to disabled and elderly patients at their homes. These not widely developed yet. At present, these robots used mainly for carrying out simple functions such as helping someone getting in and out of bed.
Exoskeletons: When it comes to robotics, the exoskeleton is one of the fastest-growing technologies in the market. It uses sensors that are placed under the skin for detecting electrical signals of the patient’s body and then respond to it with the joint movement. It is great for physical rehabilitation for someone recovering from the lower limb issues like spinal cord injuries or strokes.
What Is The Impact Of Medical Robots?
Robot technologies are appearing in various areas as it can have a direct impact on patient care. These serve as medical assistance and monitor the vital statistics of a patient. If required. It will alert the nurses to make sure there is a human presence in the patient’s room.
The robotic assistants can enter information into the electronic health record of a particular patient. Robots are also helping in surgery. Thus, doctors can perform a tiny incision rather than creating an inch-long incision. Robotics is having a great impact on all aspects of medicine.
- Robotics technology is coming up in various areas that can have an impact on patient care. Used for disinfecting the rooms of the patient, the operating suite, and equipment.
- This helps in truncating risk for medical personnel and the patients. The robots can take samples, transport, and analyze them.
However, the ultimate question that arises from this is whether it will take jobs away from humans. There is no reason to worry so soon. There is no way it can replace human counterparts. To include them and make them work full scale, many things have to be upgraded in the hospitals.
The technology might be expensive, and it can take some years to implement, although it might change the healthcare industry.
What Are The Benefits Of Robotic Surgery?
Robotic surgery might not be something that you have thought about before. However, there are various reasons to talk to your doctor about the option of robotic surgery.
It’s Minimally Invasive
Since the surgeons don’t have to use their hand for accessing the body directly, the incision is much smaller than traditional surgery. Also, it filters out tremors in the hands of the surgeon. So, there is a lesser chance of inverted nicks.
Patients Recover More Quickly
Since the surgery is minimally invasive, your body will take less time to recover from it. Sure, the healing time varies from one person to the other, but most of the people are able to resume their regular activities within a few weeks of robotic surgery.
Less Blood and Pain
With small incision and greater precision, you will feel less pain after, as well as during the surgery. You tend to be less dependent on the painkillers in the time of recovery. This reduces the addiction risk.
Smaller Infection Chance
There is always a risk of infection with surgical procedures. This can delay the process of recovery and can also keep you in the hospital for a longer time. Some parts of your body have greater chances of infection, especially if exposed to longer incisions. As robotic surgery is minimally invasive, there is a lesser chance of developing an infection.