There are many tasks performed by robots in health facilities and institutions, and in addition to the surgical robot in the operating room, there are robots that help the nursing staff perform most of the routine tasks that do not require direct communication with patients, in order for the nurse to spend more time caring for them.
The need for this type of robots in hospitals has emerged during the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has exhausted the health personnel’s energy due to the enormous pressure and the hospitals filled with coronavirus patients, and the most important thing is to reduce human contact between the nurse and the patient, which prevents transmission of infection.
The use of robots in the healthcare sector reflects the role of technology and artificial intelligence, which opened up broad horizons for increasing the role of robots and taking the pressure off caregivers for several reasons such as the emergence of pandemics and infectious viruses in addition to the growing population, increase in life expectancy and high healthcare costs. Robots can help healthcare providers complete tasks more quickly, with fewer errors. There is a surgical robot that has arms that can reach places where the human hand can’t. Today, the demand for these robots is high in the field of laparoscopic, orthopedic and endoscopic surgery.
What can a robot do in a hospital?
There is a wide range of functions that robots can perform in hospitals and health institutions in order to help doctors, surgeons, nursing staff as well as technicians with their daily routine tasks. Robots have greatly helped in facing the spread of coronavirus, as they can be used in disinfection, providing medicines and food to patients inside and outside quarantine, measuring vital signs, and preparing medical reports necessary to follow up on health conditions.
There are robots dedicated to sterilization and disinfection by UV disinfection devices that use ultraviolet light to kill harmful microorganisms. These robots are used in places where infection can be spread such as coronavirus departments, which poses a threat to the lives of personnel, especially the ones responsible for the sterilization process, as these robots use ultraviolet rays to sterilize places within a few minutes. Robots can also be used to disinfect surfaces with built-in UV. It is known that coronaviruses live on hard surfaces for a specific time, which increases the possibility of transmission upon contact. Sterilization with these devices has proven to be highly effective in hospitals instead of manual disinfection, which requires large numbers of cleaners and puts them at risk of catching infection.
Measurement of vital signs
Robots can also be used to measure vital signs and identify healthy patients. This robot enters the patient’s room, digitally fills the required documents, monitors the patient’s general condition, and takes vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate, thus reducing the risk of infection.
One of the tasks assigned to robots is to provide food and medicine to patients in hospitals, especially in coronavirus departments. They are sterilized again before helping other patients, to reduce the chances of cross-contamination. This technology can be used in hospitals and linked with a facial recognition database to alert and warn patients and add any necessary information that may benefit their health and limit the spread of disease in the future.
In addition, robots in the hospital distribute, store and re-stock medicines automatically, while handling laboratory samples, disinfecting and sterilizing devices and equipment, reminding patients to take medicines, serving food at meal times, and making sure that medicines are taken correctly, which contributes to saving expenses and performing medical tasks accurately, reducing errors and allowing time for healthcare professionals to focus on patient care.
Rehabilitation robots are available today to help people with certain disabilities after an accident or after a stroke who need physical therapy and rehabilitation sessions. These robots help increase their mobility and strength as they are programmed to suit the needs of each patient.
These robots used in gait rehabilitation and mobility rehabilitation are used for various stages of rehabilitation where motor skills can be practiced safely and repetitively, and they reduce the effort exerted by physical therapists.
These robots provide a number of repetitive movements based on the patient’s need, and they can also be used to control the change of the various executed movements within certain limits. These steps help obtain successful training and learning to perform the required motor tasks and complete the process of balanced and safe walking.
Surgeon’s Assistant Robot
As for the operating rooms, the surgeon’s assistant robot has been significantly developed so that more complex and less invasive operations can be performed through the robotic arms, their mechanism of action and their ability to reach places that the surgeon’s hand cannot reach. Most importantly is the experience of the surgeon who controls these arms, as he can see what is happening inside the patient’s body through high-resolution 3D imaging technology.