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10 Medical Robots That Could Change Healthcare

From microbots that scrape plaque from arteries to personal assistant robots that help care for patients, medical robots are transforming the face of healthcare.
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Earlier in 2012, robotics firm iRobot built an emerging technologies group and announced a partnership with InTouch Health to put its AVA telepresence technology to better use. As a result, the two companies developed the Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant, or RP-VITA, which combines iRobot's AVA telepresence units with InTouch health's distance education tools, creating a system that allows physicians to care for patients remotely.

The system features mapping and obstacle detection, as well as avoidance technology and an iPad user interface for control and interaction. The robot can also interface with diagnostic devices and electronic medical records (EMR) systems. The remote rig will eventually be able to navigate to specified target destinations autonomously.

"While this represents our first foray into the healthcare market, the RP-VITA represents a robust platform," said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. "We see many future opportunities in adjacent markets."

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aubreyjd
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aubreyjd,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/20/2013 | 12:51:57 AM
The Possibilities
            As an engineer I would say that I have a slightly different view on what art is. Though previously a major in the arts I decided to diverge more into applied aesthetics. When mentioning to others that I want to go into manufacturing engineering it is often imagined as a rusty factory, grumpy faces, with weird smells and toxins flowing through the airways. But me, I see it as a system with so many pathways that can be taken. Last year, while visiting one of these factories on a tour, I quickly fell in love, as weird as that sounds, with a robot. The ways in which it moves, and the ways in which it was able to help were just something so beautiful to me, and it was then that I realized the beauty in robotics.

            While doing much research in robotics I found so many articles on how they have been used in the medical field (where I hope to end up someday). Robots that help deliver materials, make materials, and compute data, and even things like this that are able to possibly even lift a patient's spirits; it even touches the Wall-E lover inside of me and through things like Wall-E I find my inspiration to use engineering, but also this art to hopefully make the world a better place some day. Things like this show me the endless possibilities of where robotics can fit and help, and if engineered properly I think it's a really viable opportunity that we should embrace.
jaysimmons
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jaysimmons,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/13/2012 | 7:44:21 PM
re: 10 Medical Robots That Could Change Healthcare
IGm a little skeptical, as others are IGm sure, of replacing human interaction with medical robots. One of the main complaints I hear about EHRs is the aspect of losing interaction with patients due to having to document in the system during the visit. I am however looking forward to microbots becoming more prevalent in the field, and the data we will be able to gather from them.

Jay Simmons Information
Week Contributor
chergui77
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chergui77,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/8/2012 | 4:22:22 AM
re: 10 Medical Robots That Could Change Healthcare
As a registered nurse practioner, I would like to see evidence based practice and research that supports robotics vs. human contact. Studies show that infants need human contact to bond and survive. Will robots just get the job done or will there be data that concurrently shows improved clinical patient outcomes and quality improvement? I have my doubts.
ArtWittmann
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ArtWittmann,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/7/2012 | 6:23:56 PM
re: 10 Medical Robots That Could Change Healthcare
Second slide - robot schmobot, how about that cool tiger maple imperial sofa. No THAT'S cool!
Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/7/2012 | 5:18:44 PM
re: 10 Medical Robots That Could Change Healthcare
While I think most of these robots are innovative and extremely helpful for many patients, I think I would be nervous to have the "microbots" inside of my body. I just think I would be worried that in the event of a malfunction, the microbots would not be able to exit quickly.
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