12 Advances In Medical Robotics
January 29, 2011 06:00 AM Robots play a critical -- and growing -- role in modern medicine, from training the next generation of doctors, dentists, and nurses, to comforting and protecting elderly patients in the early stages of dementia. Using robots, medical professionals can make smaller incisions for shorter surgeries, reducing hospital stays and improving patients' prognoses and saving costs. As robots become even smaller and developers continue to further integrate the devices with artificial intelligence, the medical community will continuously expand the ways in which it uses this technology to save patients, improve quality of life and prevent health problems. At the other end of the spectrum, medical schools are turning to robots that mimic live patients' feelings of pain or discomfort to help the next wave of doctors and dentists prepare to treat real people. Of course, dummies and cadavers are not new to medical students, but by giving students access to sensitive patients, healthcare educators hope to hone the bedside manners of soon-to-be doctors and dentists.
Remote Presence RP-7
InTouch Technologies focuses on remote presence telehealth solutions, including its Remote Presence RP-7 robot, a full-featured remote presence platform for multiple medical specialties. Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa., for example, uses the RP-7 robot to connect four rural hospital systems and improves patient care in remote areas of northwestern Pennsylvania, western New York, and eastern Ohio, and to support the cardiology services it provides to 14 prisons in the state. InTouch's robot-based solution has increased collaboration, enhanced patient care and built relationships among medical professionals, according to the hospital, which estimated about 90% of patients have not been to the hospital.