Impact of robotics on healthcare and safety management

Robots can undertake tasks that are considered too dangerous, dirty, and dull for human beings, such as moving or lifting heavy objects or operating under hazardous conditions.

These industrial robots, first developed 50 years ago, have the potential to change the productivity and well-being of society with their exponential benefits compared to humans.

However, robots in the medical and healthcare industry are designed for entirely different environments and tasks that involve direct interaction with human users in a range of healthcare environments, including hospitals, clinics, surgical theaters, rehabilitation centers, homes, and nursing homes.

They improve the patients’ health and well-being by filling care gaps, supporting caregivers, and aiding the clinical workforce. By exploiting computer-based technology strengths, robots can also enable people with cognitive, sensory, and motor impairments to help people who are ill or injured.

They enable human surgeons to transcend human sensory-motor limits and treat individual patients with greater safety, improved efficacy, and reduced morbidity than would otherwise be possible. Robots can significantly improve surgeons’ technical capability to perform less invasive procedures inside the patient’s body with real-time image feedback and great agility.

Benefits of robotics in medicine

  • They ensure surgical precision: There are a limited number of surgeons in the medical field, and they are often outnumbered by the many patients lining up for life-saving procedures. Therefore, precision surgical robots have become a big help to surgeons. They have changed the playing field offering better medical care, especially on vital organs such as the brain and eyes.
  • Eliminates monotonous work: Doctors and nurses often perform duties that are repetitive but essential for patients’ well-being, such as checking for vital signs, drawing blood, and prognosis monitoring. They are often mentally and physically worn out to handle other duties, and here’s where robots come in. Robot nurses can carry out these duties without getting tired or reducing the quality of work done since they are designed to perform monotonous and repetitive tasks. They can take on some medical tasks and help relieve the stress of medical workers.
  • They have enabled telemedicine: Following the development of remote-controlled machines in the medical industry, doctors can actively take care of a patient who is miles away with utmost precision. Nurses could also check up on patients and ask them about their condition. With telemedicine, patients will not need to attend time-consuming hospital visits anymore. Not only can robots work in harsh environments, but they can also handle tasks that are too heavy or strenuous for people, such as operating cranes that load containers onto trucks, deep-sea exploration, and volcano investigation.

Benefits of robotics in safety management

  • They can take any job: Robots are simply machines that run on programs built by humans and can be designed for jobs deemed dangerous for humans. One example is space exploration, where many robotic probes have never returned from a mission.
  • They can work all day, every day: One of the best attributes about robots is that they can never get tired and work for a full day without taking a break compared to people who need to rest when exhausted. Alongside this advantage is that robots can guarantee precision and yield when it comes to their tasks.
  • They ensure utmost precision: Since robots do not have shaky hands or second thoughts when performing a task, they are more accurate, precise and can offer consistent results. Robots have versatile and small moving parts, which are instrumental in providing the most correct output.

About the author:

Petra Márquez is part of the content team at Engage EHS. Petra has worked in the health and safety industry since graduating from university. When not writing about health and safety practices, Petra can be found researching new travel locations.