A medical robot is, in fact, not a result of new technology. People have been using such robots to carry out precise tasks to achieve fewer degrees of error. These intelligent machines have been finding their way into hospitals for almost three decades now, in many cases replacing human nurses and surgeons with more efficient and consistent results. Moreover, medical robots help healthcare providers diagnose patients, administer needed treatments, and advise.
Medical robotics is an interdisciplinary technology that links engineers and surgeons. With the help of modern technology, surgeons can now perform precise surgeries with guidance from robotic arms operated by experts located remotely. Hence, the medical robots used in healthcare today give doctors an extra level of support in diagnosing and treating patients.
It is undeniable that there will be more advanced medical robots that will ease health workers’ jobs in the future. If you are interested in their fantastic achievement, these medical robot facts below will definitely blow your mind! What are you waiting for? Without any further ado, let’s jump to the list!
1. The First Medical Robot Came Out 50 Years Ago
The concept of using robotics in surgery dates back more than 50 years. However, it was not until the late 1980s that Robodoc, an orthopedic image-guided system, saw widespread use. The robot was the brainchild of Hap Paul, DVM, and William Bargar, MD, for use in prosthetic hip replacement.
In 1985, the Puma 560 followed suit. This robot was capable of determining the accurate positioning of cannulae for brain biopsies.
And then, more camera-guided robotic surgical systems such as the Neuro-Mate, Minerva, and the Robot-Assisted Microsurgery System were introduced into brain surgery settings. The small mechanical robotic appendages have proven helpful in surgeries that require extra precision for the patient’s safety and the operation’s success.
2. Robotic Surgery Allows Precise Movement
An experienced surgeon always performs robotic surgery. Specially trained surgeons use the state-of-the-art Da Vinci robotic surgery system to have complete control over small, precise, minimally intrusive tools. This device allows the surgeon to do more precise movements within the small surgical site and has a far more extensive range of motion.
Robotic surgery, also known as robot-assisted surgery, allows doctors to conduct various complex procedures. The robot offers greater precision, flexibility, and control than traditional approaches.
In fact, according to Medtechdive, medical robot surgery usage increased by 8.8% in the first four years after hospitals began offering it. In contrast, laparoscopic procedures dropped from 53.2 to 51.3 percent. According to the report, hospitals’ utilization of laparoscopic surgery climbed 1.3 percent every year before introducing robotic surgery.
3. It Assists Health Worker’s Routine Job
In medicine, robots assist by relieving medical staff of routine activities that divert their attention away from more important tasks. Robots can perform menial and repetitive duties such as monitoring a patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and breathing rate. They can also make medical operations for patients safer and less expensive.
During the COVID 19 pandemic, telemedicine, and telepresence robots assisted patients in isolation with medical services, remote monitoring of vital signs, and patrol and awareness tasks. Safety, trustworthiness, accuracy, alerts and assistance providing, communication, and engagement are all qualities of telemedicine and telepresence robots.
4. The First Surgical Robot Was Simultaneously Developed with The Bone Implantation System
The first surgical robot, the PUMA 560, saw its use in a stereotaxic operation in 1985. Its computed tomography guide the robot as it injected a needle into the brain for biopsy. Before the invention of the robot, this process was previously prone to error due to hand tremors during needle placement.
During a computer tomography (CT)-guided brain biopsy in neurosurgery, a PUMA-200 industrial robot positioned and locked a biopsy channel.
Meanwhile, the IBM T.J. Watson Center and U.C. Davis started developing the Robodoc system for bone milling during the implantation of a whole hip endoprosthesis almost simultaneously. The system got CE certification for the European market in 1996, after the initial clinical evaluation in 1992.
Then, the Imperial College London develop the Acrobot system in 1992. It is the first robotic assistance system in knee arthroplasty. Nowadays, the Mako system from Stryker Corp Medical still uses the Acrobot technology.
5. Medical Robots Responsible for Hospital Hygiene
Recently, hospitals commissioned some medical robots configured to emit ultraviolet light to disinfect rooms. This method is handy for cleaning up areas where the risk of infection is high, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, and care homes.
In fact, medical robots can produce UV-C rays with wavelengths of 250 to 280 nanometres to effectively kill viruses and bacteria without chemicals. This is the Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI). As a result, their use can be a valuable and time-saving complement to hand cleaning. They are undoubtedly instrumental when deadly infectious diseases are in circulation.
Scientists discovered the germicidal characteristics of UV-C rays in 1878. By 1910, ultraviolet light was used to clean drinking water, and mercury vapor lamps with germicidal qualities became commercially available in the early 1930s.
Operators need to program UVGI robots to move into every nook and cranny of the rooms in which they operate. After all, the effectiveness of light-based sterilization is dependent on line-of-sight exposure.
6. Medical Robots Help Clinical Diagnosis and Epidemic Control
Orion Star, a Chinese robotics startup, is working on ‘Intelligent Epidemic Prevention and Control Robots.’ These machines have an operating system with various artificial intelligence programming. They can perform a wide range of operations in healthcare settings. They can also remotely make a preliminary diagnosis of patients who may be infected with communicable diseases.
Such AI functionality is possible through traditional computer programs. In fact, computer programs that aided in medical diagnosis by deploying algorithms based on knowledge bases, pattern matching, and probability theory since the early 1970s.
Additionally, these robots save time and reduce the chance of any infectious disease carried by the patient being promptly transmitted to the attending doctor or nurse. In Spain, plans are in the works to deploy robots to carry out diagnostic tests for viral infections, saving time for healthcare workers.
7. Da Vinci, The World’s Most Advanced Surgical Robot
The Da Vinci robotic surgery platform is today’s most advanced minimally invasive surgery platform. It can accommodate prostate removal, hysterectomies, thyroid cancer removal, gastric bypass, and other surgical operations. Many patients who have had robotic surgery operations reported satisfactory results.
In fact, the Da Vinci medical robotic technology allows surgeons to execute delicate and sophisticated surgery with a few small incisions. The doctors can use miniaturized instruments on three distinct Da Vinci robotic arms, enabling the operator to maximize the range of motion and precision.
A magnified high-definition 3-D camera in Da Vinci’s fourth arm guides the surgeon during the procedure. The micro-movements of instruments inside the patient’s body mimic the surgeon’s hand movements precisely.
8. There are Over 600,000 Surgical Procedures per Year with Robots In The US
According to data from equipment makers, there were about 644,000 robotic-assisted surgical procedures in the United States in 2017. More robotic-assisted surgeries are performed in the United States than any other country. Furthermore, the United States is home to 65 percent of all Da Vinci robotic equipment and 73 percent of all robotic-assisted cases performed globally.
This robotic surgery is also safe and recommended because the incisions will be smaller than in an open hysterectomy. Following surgery, you may experience lesser discomfort and spend less time in the hospital. Hence, your recovery may be faster.
9. The Da Vinci System First Used In Belgium
Intuitive Surgery, based in Sunnyvale, California, makes the Da Vinci robotic surgical system. In 1997, Jacques Himpens and Guy Cardier performed the first telesurgery gallbladder operation in Brussels, Belgium, using the Da Vinci by Intuitive Surgical Inc. equipment.
This device gives the surgeon 7 degrees of freedom, allowing the robotic arm to mimic the human arm’s movements accurately. It consists of the surgeon’s console, the patient’s “trolley” or robot, and an imaging system that allowed the surgeon to see the image captured by the camera.
At the beginning of the development, the robot came with two robotic operational arms and one camera holder at first. The first two-arm system came out in Europe in 1999 and got FDA certification for usage in the United States in 2000.
10. Medical Robots for Delivery Medicines
Hospitals also use medical robots to carry blood and urine samples, as well as other goods, to the relevant employees, saving doctors and nurses time.
Self-driving robots can bring food to patients and individuals who need to be in isolation in their own homes in the event of a catastrophic infectious disease outbreak. It virtually eliminates the possibility of infection.
In the future, autonomous driving systems will be the cutting-edge technology for in-house hospital medicine delivery. The Robotic Medicine Delivery Systems are similar to autonomous driving systems that we usually see in shopping mall basements, tech parks, apartments, and other commercial structures.
11. Medical Robots Will Never Completely Replace Doctor
Indeed, technology may be beneficial to a physician’s workflow or in improving the quality of their decisions. However, technology will never be able to really replace what it means to be a doctor and the critical patient-physician relationship that is unique to each patient.
Furthermore, algorithms and robots will never be able to fulfill doctors’ nonlinear working methods. Such a diagnosis could not have been made by an algorithm. A doctor’s profession requires the use of data, measurements, and quantitative analyses. In the future, it will be much more vital. The processes of establishing a diagnosis and treating a patient are not sequential. It necessitates problem-solving abilities that algorithms and robots will never possess.
12. Robotic Surgery is Less Painful
Robotic-assisted surgery has more advantages than traditional operations, and it provides cancer patients with a better, less painful, less hazardous, and faster recovery experience. It is a significant improvement in all aspects of surgery. Because the incisions and cuts are substantially smaller, the blood loss and trauma are greatly decreased. Many times, blood transfusions are completely avoided! Because of the smaller cuts, the danger of infection and consequences is also quite minimal.
Furthermore, compared to open operations, the pain and physical scarring are negligible. As a result, both the recuperation time and the length of stay in the hospital are greatly reduced. The patient can return to normal life considerably faster than with other treatments.
13. There Will Be 2,000 Surgical Robots by 2025 In The World
In the 2020 projection period, the global surgical robots market will grow up to 15%, reaching USD 13 billion by 2025. The increased prevalence of degenerative and chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, among others, is driving the global surgical robots market.
Additionally, the market will expand by 2025 because of the associated benefits of surgical robots for both doctors and patients. Furthermore, hospitals accounted for the greatest market share in terms of robotic surgical system installation volume in 2016, with over 2,000 units expected by 2025.
14. Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare Used Since The 1970s
In 1950, the first description of artificial intelligence (AI) came out. However, early models had significant flaws that hindered general acceptance and application in medicine. AI made its way into healthcare in the early 1970s, and it helped with the biomedical challenges. In the 1970s, AI research, particularly in medicine, exploded.
Later, many of these constraints were overcome by the first surgeon robots developed in the early 2000s. AI systems are capable of analyzing complex algorithms and self-learning. AI may also have its uses in clinical practice to improve diagnosis accuracy and workflow efficiency through risk assessment models.
15. Robotic Hysterectomy is Recommended Surgery
A hysterectomy is a procedure that removes your uterus or your uterus and cervix. Usually, your doctor may recommend robot-assisted surgery if you require a hysterectomy. Your doctor will conduct the hysterectomy using equipment that will go through small abdominal wounds during robotic surgery. The enhanced, three-dimensional vision allows for greater precision, flexibility, and control.
This robotic surgery is undoubtedly safer because the incisions will be smaller than in an open hysterectomy. Following surgery, you may experience less discomfort and spend less time in the hospital. Hence, your recovery may be simpler.