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What are the pros and cons of robots in healthcare?

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Airtract

David W Bender

Knowledge is power

This is an age of exciting developments in science and technology on all fronts. Ideas and concepts like robotics and artificial intelligence that were once confined to the realm of science fiction are now dominating the headlines. In the health sector, robots are now gradually taking over and even take part in very complicated surgeries. 

As this steady stride in technological advancement continues in the medical world, there are two sides – one is happy with the development while the other flank is more worried about ominous possibilities. But to have a logical conclusion, it will be good to examine the claims and issues raised by both sides. So, what are the pros and cons of robots in healthcare? The following sections in this piece will do justice to this very important question. 

The Pros of Robots in Healthcare

  • SMOOTHER SURGICAL PROCEDURES

One of the most incontestable advantages of the use of robots in healthcare is that they have made certain surgical procedures a lot easier and drastically reduced the stress involved. Surgeries are now minimally-invasive because of robots and recovery times recorded now were once thought impossible. Robots have improved the safety records of various surgical procedures, but a lot still needs to be done. 

  • MAXIMIZING PRODUCTIVITY

 By doing what doctors spend so much time doing, robots have allowed physicians to increase productivity, and this is so true of clinical tasks. The more robots can do in a clinical setting; the more time medical professionals will have to concentrate on other relevant areas, thus leading to optimal productivity at the end of the day. 

The Cons of Robots in Healthcare

  • UNEXPECTED COMPLICATIONS

When the multimillion-dollar da Vinci robotic surgery system was launched by Intuitive Surgical, it was widely hailed as a new frontier in the field of robotic medicine. However, it did not take long before complaints about unexpected complications and even technical problems started cropping up with the system. 

  • PROHIBITIVE COSTS

As it is now, robotic systems used in medical procedures are incredibly expensive and obviously, not all institutions can afford to purchase, install, operate and maintain them. In places where these robotic systems are in place, not all patients can also afford the cost of using them. Although scientists and mechatronics engineers are hopeful that with time the cost will drop significantly, it is simply beyond the reach of many at the moment.

Also read:  What are the uses of information technology in healthcare?

Airtract

Usman Banda

Inhale confidence Exhale doubt

Robotics has vast importance in the field of healthcare and medicine. It is the branch of technological study which constructs, operates, and designs various applications of regular life through robots. Since a long time, robotics has proved to be a highly efficient application in the area of healthcare. Robotics is applied in various neurological, laparoscopic as well as orthopedic surgeries. Robots are primarily applied in two different ways in the healthcare sector. One is for the surgical purpose, and the other is for the rehabilitation purpose. They have tremendous operational powers to take care of the patients, take care for the various medical devices, sterilizing, providing medicines, taking care of the elderly persons, providing empathetic care to the mentally ill patients, etc. But, it is very natural that every technological advancement has both pros and cons. Let us check the pros and cons of robotics in healthcare.

Pros:

- Robotics can monitor over various settings of the clinics like assuming the prescriptions, doing diagnosis, looking onto the patients, etc.

- One of the efficient ways to reduce excessive stress and work pressure from the doctors and healthcare specialists is to take the help of the application of robots.

- Robotics provides the practical field to amplify and enable actual focus on the patients by providing them empathy, specialized care, monitoring facilities, etc.

- Robotics has a lot of importance in the field of medicines and open source prosthetic technologies. 

Cons:

- Robotics make the healthcare sector too much expensive and costly, which cannot be afforded by many of the people. The reason behind this is the cost of maintenance, installation of the technologies, etc.

- Space required for the set up of robot technologies is comparatively huge than normal clinical setups, which are very difficult to get in big cities.

- Robotics have replaced the utilization of manpower in the field of health sectors, which is a great cause of unemployment. Almost all the systems have become automated, and human activities are not much needed which results in unemployment.

Airtract

richard devis

Tagline Not available

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has successfully curated an effective partnership between healthcare professionals and robotics experts to offer unique healthcare solutions to pressing needs. These solutions are driven by smart robots with the potential to deliver unprecedented care across the below fields.

  • Surgery

  • Dentistry

  • Telemedicine

  • Pharmaceuticals  

  • Mobile Logistics

  • Phlebotomy

  • Rehabilitation Medicine

But what’s the overall impact of robots in healthcare - is it negative or positive for the sustainability of the hospitals, physicians, and other medical facilities that integrate them, let’s understand with the below pros and cons.


The Pros of Robots in Healthcare


Automation-proof Solution


One of the most important benefits of implementing robots in healthcare is that it automates the caregiving lifecycle without disrupting job opportunities. The adoption of automated systems does not lead to the displacement of human workers. In fact, humans have become the backbone of these systems.


Minimal Use of Resources


Today, contagious diseases can be treated effectively with the help of robots. These robots limit the exposure of human beings to dangerous and fatal environments that require an ample amount of personal protective equipment. This leads to minimal use of resources and reduces excess waste of money and such essential materials.


Comprehensive Care


Healthcare robots provide 360-degree care without being liable to human error unless the errors are fixed in their development environment. They can deliver quality care and boost operational efficiencies with the right technical assistance. This also reduces the risk of accidents and injuries.


The Cons of Robots in Healthcare


Legal Issues of Malfunctioning


The greatest concern of using robots in the medical field is malfunctioning. Doctors would be responsible for the overall performance of these robots. However, with continuous working hours and stressful environments, there’s a high possibility of tech failure even under the supervision of a professional resulting in a malfunctioning case.  


Steep Learning Curve for Newbies


It takes a good amount of practice for newcomers to understand the basics of leveraging robots in healthcare. It also takes educational experiences and time away from surgeons in training. This leads to a less skilled workforce that lacks the knowledge and expertise to create a long-term sustainable environment.  

 

Proves Cost-intensive


Such kind of technical assistance would take years to offer a good ROI but till that time the hospitals have to manage all the expenses that are not cheap. And in this prevailing coronavirus crisis, it would not be easy for doctors and medical facilities to monetize robotic systems. 

Considering all the above, you would have understood that Implementing robotics in healthcare brings its own set of benefits and drawbacks to your table. However, with best cybersecurity practices and the right tech training, these benefits can be heightened and drawbacks can be contracted for better future outcomes.  

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