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Joseph E. Aoun, President, Northeastern University
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Surgeries of The Future: Robots will be key contributors
A surgical robot is a computer controlled device that can be programmed to aid in positioning and manipulating surgical instruments, assisting the surgeon to perform complex procedures. Robots currently in use are not intended to act independently from human surgeons or to replace them. Instead, these systems work as a remote extension completely governed by the surgeon. Robotic surgery has successfully addressed the limitations of traditional surgery, allowing complex and advanced surgical procedures with improved precision. This technology has a lot of potentials which could radically improve the efficiency and productivity of the profession as a whole.
The benefits of robotic surgery:
1. The surgeon can control the robot from a centralized location. The patient can be treated and operated with a minimum number of staff, which reduces costs.
2. With robotic surgery, strain experienced by doctors and staff can be reduced or even eliminated.
3. Robotic surgery will allow a greater degree of precision and accuracy to be achieved when complex surgical procedures are performed.
4. Robotic surgery enables smaller incisions resulting in reduces risks of infection, blood loss and transfusions, and scarring.
Medical robotics has its applications in telepresence, surgical assistants, rehabilitation robots, medical transportation robots, sanitation and disinfection robots, and robotic prescription dispensing system. Among these applications, robots performing c-section is most promising and soon will become a reality. Reports say that these robotic healthcare assistants are expected to:
1. Conduct vaginal surgeries and operations on the bowel, heart, and lungs.
2. Help advance diagnoses of illnesses like cancer before they destroy organs. As a result, surgeries will less traumatic and smaller in scale.
3. Identify people with severe forms of arthritis and prescribe faster treatment to reduce the need for major hip and knee replacement surgeries.
The future of operation theatre:
With the aid of this robotics technology operating theatres are likely to look different with greater integration of technological innovations and artificial intelligence could be used to schedule procedures, request instruments, and monitor the environment. The technology will be crucial in guiding to the team of surgeons and theatre space will be improved.