The medical community continues to embrace innovative technology, including the use of robots in a professional medical setting.
The Research In The United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, former health minister Lord Darzi commissioned a controversial study that suggested that robot medics, or carebots, be fully automated within the National Health Service (NHS). The research for the study will be formally introduced on June 19.
The report found that carebots could do roughly one-third of the work done by nurses and one-quarter of the work done by hospitals. The carebots could also work in private homes for the elderly and disabled.
The use of robots would save the NHS about $17 million annually, which is one-tenth of its budget. The report would call on the Health and Social Care secretary to make a sizeable investment into this technology.
"Unlike in some industries, where there are fears that automation will lead to job losses, in health and social care it will complement human skills and talents, by reducing the burden of repetitive and administrative tasks and freeing up of staff to spend more time on direct clinical care with patients," the review said.
Benefits Of The NHS Using Carebots
In addition to the cost benefits, there could be numerous advantages to integrating the health system with carebots. It would rely on artificial intelligence systems with machine-learning algorithms to accurately diagnose different diseases. The technology would help doctors conduct procedures. It will also help patients with meals and transportation.
Some of the technology in the hospitals in the United Kingdom is up to 35 years old, which can slow down medical procedures. The use of the carebots would give medical professionals up to 30 percent more time to focus on training and care
Hospitals In The United States Already Embracing Robots
Many countries, including the United States, are already embracing the use of robots in a medical setting. The robots help hospitals complete easy tasks and engage with patients. The technology is also cost-efficient.
Some of the robots replace jobs that people once held, such as packaging medical supplies. Other robots focus on new uses of telecommunication and information technology. Two of the most popular medical robots are Tugs, which is made by Aethon, and RoboCouriers, which is made by Swisslog.
"No hospital wants to cut corners for the sake of automation or for the sake of technology," analyst Charlie Whelan told Modern Healthcare. "At the same time, they are looking for ways to make things easier and cheaper."