Can robotics transform the medical industry? While there are plenty of medicine-focused robotics apps in development, the long-term outlook for their use remains to be seen.
Several industries are seeing the impact of robotics — and medicine is no exception.
While the progress of these applications has been slow compared to other industries, the impact could be huge: robotics in medicine can help to reduce human error, improve recovery time, and reduce hospital stays, ultimately enhancing patients’ quality of life.
The first medical robotic application appeared in 1985, when an early robotic surgical arm assisted in a neurosurgical biopsy surgery. Fifteen years later, the first fully FDA-approved system (known as the da Vinci surgery system) for laparoscopic surgery emerged, giving surgeons the ability to control surgical instruments indirectly via a console.
Today, companies are leveraging advances in the tech to develop new robotic applications to explore the future of medicine — including those related to bionics, disease discovery, and rehabilitation.
Elon Musk’s Neuralink, for example, is working to develop cutting-edge technology to give amputees a better connection to their prosthetics. Auto giant Toyota is developing solutions to serve an aging population, while Johnson & Johnson is heavily investing in medical robotics.
In this analysis, we’ll dig into whether reality is matching those big ambitions, and dive into applications where medical robotics are beginning to enter the mainstream.
From bionic body parts to microrobots you can swallow like pills, robots are coming to a hospital near you — no medical degree required.
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