Medical robot

A medical robot is a robot used in the medical sciences. They include surgical robots. These are in most telemanipulators, which use the surgeon’s actions on one side to control the “effector” on the other side.

Surgical robots:
Either allow surgical operations to be carried out with greater precision than an unaided human surgeon, or allow remote surgery where a human surgeon is not physically present with the patient.

Rehabilitation robots:
Facilitate and support the lives of infirm, elderly people, or those with dysfunction of body parts effecting movement. These robots are also used for rehabilitation and related procedures, such as training and therapy.

A group of robots designed to imitate the cognition of humans and animals.

Telepresence robots:
Allow off-site medical professionals to move, look around, communicate, and participate from remote locations.

Pharmacy automation:
Robotic systems to dispense oral solids in a retail pharmacy setting or preparing sterile IV admixtures in a hospital pharmacy setting.

Companion robot:
Has the capability to engage emotionally with users keeping them company and alerting if there is a problem with their health.

Drug delivery automation
A robot that performs solid oral drug administration or a robot that prepares a sterile IV admixture.

Disinfection robot:
Has the capability to disinfect a whole room in mere minutes, generally using pulsed ultraviolet light. They are being used to fight Ebola virus disease.

Wheelchair robot
With detection and navigation capabilities, through conversations and then to the destination.

Medical micro robot
Built-in ultra-small camera, can directly put drugs into the human body.

The world’s first surgical robot is the Arthrobot, developed and used for the first time in Vancouver in 1983. The team behind this robot was made up of Dr. James McEwen, biomedical engineer, Geof Auchinleck, a graduate student in engineering physics from the UBC, Dr. Brian Day, surgeon, and a group of students engineering. The very first robot was used on March 12, 1984 during an orthopedic surgery operation at UBC Hospital in Vancouver. More than 60 arthroscopic surgeries were performed in the first year and in 1985 a documentary on National Geographic’s industrial robots The Robotics Revolution introduced the device.

In addition to this robot assistant surgeon who gave the surgical instruments by voice command, mention may be made, among other robotic devices developed at the same time, a robotic arm of medical laboratory.

The company Computer Motion is a pioneer in the field of medical robots with the AESOP, used in Canada and the ZEUS, used in Europe. In 2003, Intuitive Surgical and Computer Motion merged with the name of Intuitive Surgical. The ZEUS is then abandoned in favor of the Da Vinci..

New leads for research and development include nanobots and soft robotics.

Medical robots in use
Many medical robots are in use around the world. There are two kinds of medical robots.

On the one hand, interventional robots, used in surgery. The most used robot today in this sector is the Da Vinci robot. It is used, mainly in the United States and Europe, for various minimally invasive surgical operations in the abdominal and thoracic cavities of patients. Its main application is prostate surgery: 60% of prostate operations in the United States have used a Da Vinci. Other robotic surgery systems have emerged in recent years. The ROSA device is dedicated to minimally invasive cranial procedures, or Sensei to treat heart rhythm disorders. The Cyberknifeis another example, which serves to destroy tumors non-invasively. It tracks the location of the tumor and the target continuously during the procedure. So-called endoscope robots are used to assist the surgeon during an operation by holding the camera during an endoscopy. Robots like the EndoAssist or the Viky are used in hospitals for this purpose. Finally, some robots are not used directly to assist the surgical procedure itself, but for ancillary tasks in the operating room. This is the case of the Artis Zeego system, which makes it possible to move the imaging plane of a fluoroscopy system in real time during an operation.

On the other hand, robots used for the rehabilitation of patients, for example following a stroke. This is the case, for example, with Lokomat and In-Motion systems, which assist the patient’s rehabilitation work by providing robotic assistance. Much research is under way for the use of exoskeletons in rehabilitation, but these have not yet reached the commercial stage.

Fields of use
General surgery
Cardiothoracic surgery

Current equipment is very expensive. As a result, medical robotics is used very little. The evaluation of the interest of a robotic surgery for the patient, compared to a conventional surgery, is limited and some raise the question of the qualification of the surgeons operating mainly by robot and who then risk to lack experience when a conventional intervention is required.

In rehabilitation, various robots also expensive are used. A review in 2018 including comparing the effectiveness of rehabilitation therapy by robots mirror compared to less sophisticated rehabilitations concluded that the quality of studies in the field is very low despite strong public investment. It is therefore unreasonable according to the authors to invest in this type of rehabilitation device.

Source from Wikipedia