The Use of Assistive Robots in Healthcare
CINAHL Article Summary
The article found from CINAHL, entitled Assistive Robots in Health Care Settings written by Nejat, Sun and Nies (2009) focuses on the current and future role that assistive robots take in the healthcare system. Two main types of robots are discussed: Noninteractive and interactive. Noninteractive robots are primarily used to assist healthcare professional with their daily work tasks. Surgical robots, which are a noninteractive type, have no artificial intelligence and are controlled directly by the surgeon. These robots simply serve as an extension of the surgeons hands while performing procedures. The FDA has approved two surgical robots for use during laparoscopic surgeries; the ZEUS and the da Vinci. Though studies on robot’s effectiveness are limited, the most recent studies state that the use of robots during laparoscopic surgeries enhance stability, reduce tremors, provide excellent visualization through a 3-D view of field, as well as decrease operating time, blood loss and length of hospital stay. Since the use of robots in surgery increases stability, surgeons who have used robots in practice claim that the suture performed by the robot is much more precise than one made by human hand. Limitations of the use of robotic technology during surgery mainly include cost and the lack of outcomes data. Expenses related to the use of robots include cost for employee training, equipment maintenance and repair, and the limited use of instruments. Although the few studies done suggest that utilizing assistive robots has a number of benefits, healthcare providers must take into account that evidence related to robot use is still lacking. More studies must be done to solidify evidence regarding complication rates, lack of tactile feedback, instrument limitations, and the inability to perform surgery on a larger area. The newest research area on the use of robots in the hospital include interactive robots. These robots are designed to focus on socially assisting patients. Interactive robots take on human-like qualities which will hopefully allow them to increase social interaction, guidance and support for patients with social disabilities. An example of an interactive robot is Kaspar, who is a child-size robot designed to encourage social interaction skills in youth with autism. The main goal of interactive robots are to act as a social mediator providing companionship for patients with cognitive and physical impairment. The main issues regarding interactive robots are similar to non-interactive robot limitations as cost, systems requirement and lack of sufficient data remain in question. Websites One: da Vinci Surgery
This website is the corporate site for Intuitive Surgical, Inc., the company that owns and created the da Vinci Surgical System. The site describes the technology used to make the system unique and state of the art—3D high-definition vision, EndoWrist instruments and Intuitive motion (“Changing the Experience of Surgery,” n.d., para. 1). They claim that those features create a robot that is unparalleled to anything else available. This specific page also offers links to “Find a Surgeon” or read “Patient Stories”; it lists over 3500 surgeons and has over 600 patient stories to choose from (“Changing the Experience of Surgery,” n.d., para. 2).
The website also includes a section with a list of all the specialties that the da Vinci is used in: urology, gynecology, cardiothoracic, general surgery, colorectal, and head and neck (“Changing the Experience of Surgery,” n.d., para. 3). For example, if someone clicks the “Urology” link, they are brought to a page that informs the reader about procedures, physician information, patient information, and clinical references (“Urology,” n.d., para. 1). The surgical system can be used for prostate cancer, kidney cancer and disorders, bladder cancer, and...