The Use of Assistive Robots in Healthcare 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 urinary obstructions (“Urology,” n. d. , para. ). This website also states how the da Vinci is a minimally invasive technique that should be an option for patients (“Urology,” n. d. , para. 6). At the bottom of the page, the company provides another link that includes clinical validation and the statistics from various studies (“Urology,” n. d. , para. 12). Website Two: Robotic Trends This website, Robotic Trends, contains various articles and information on many different types of robotics, including Service and Healthcare. The specific page that was examined is titled, “Thought-controlled Robotic Limbs to Reach First Patients in Early 2013. The article, written by Robotic Trends News Sources, discusses how far technology has come in healthcare. Its main focus is on how a postdoctoral student, Max Catalan, developed a way for electrodes to be planted directly onto bone and nerve tissue, therefore eliminating the conduction issues that have occurred with similar technologies (Robotic Trends News Source, 2012, para. 1, 3). The student’s plan is to become even closer to replicating natural human movements—“Our technology helps amputees to control an artificial limb, in much the same way as their own biological hand or arm” (Robotic Trends News Source, 2012, para. ). The first surgeries are to take place in February 2013 on patients that all had amputations several years ago (Robotic Trends News Source, 2012, para. 8). A titanium implant will be inserted and attached to the bone. The titanium is then used to conduct signals to the electrodes that are on the bone and nerves (Robotic Trends News Source, 2012, para. 7). Catalan hopes that after the surgical trials take place, they will be able to receive more funding to provide this advanced technology to many other amputees (Robotic Trends News Source, 2012, para. 13). Allnurses. com Forum Review
From the General Nursing Discussion forum on allnurses. com, many discussions can be found related to robot use in the healthcare setting. One of the discussions we found titled “Nurse Robot, A Conspiracy Theory” is written to explain the impact robots may someday have in the healthcare setting and how the role of the nurse may therefore be altered. Since nurses and nursing assistants are an unavoidable expense to the hospital, the writer of the main post believes robots may be a less expensive and more effective way to complete tasks, thus making them more useful than the human nurse.
She says she “doesn’t see this kind of technology infiltrating all aspects of bedside care but can see the possibility of it making a huge dent in current nursing functions” (PintheD, 2012). The writer also asks other nurses to explore their own feelings about the use of robots in healthcare, and if there are any robots currently being used in any healthcare setting. Most of the feedback from other nurses was that the use of robots in healthcare will become more commonplace in the future.
However, none believe that a robot can fulfill the same duties a nurse can, due to the lack of personality, compassion, and empathy a robot can provide. For instance, one commenter said “for nursing to be considered a ‘caring’ profession, the juxtaposition of robotic intervention just seems to defy the very core of what a vital part of nursing is allegedly supposed to encompass” (PintheD, 2012). Most nurses who responded had a very negative tone when discussing the idea of robotic use, and did not like the idea of having a few of their current tasks and roles taken over by robots.
There were also responses from multiple nurses that discussed the use of robots on their floor already, and how the hospitals decision to utilize this technology has affected their nursing practice. The feedback was that the robots are doing a lot of the work that people used to do, like collecting charts, bringing food trays to the floor, and passing medications. There were no positive aspects about these robots that any one person discussed, and instead the robots were thought of as a joke, unimpressive, and too costly.
Overall, from this forums information, it is clear that most nurses are not ready for and doubtful regarding the use of robots in the healthcare setting. References Changing the experience of surgery. (n. d. ). Retrieved November 30, 2012, from Intuitive Surgical website: http://www. intuitivesurgical. com/specialties/ Nejat, G. , Sun, Y. , & Nies, M. (2009). Assistive robots in health care settings. Home Health Care Management & Practice, 21(3), 177-187. PintheD. (2012, Januray 3). Nurse robot, a conspiracy theory [Online forum comment].
Retrieved from http://allnurses. com/general-nursing-discussion/nurse-robot-conspiracy-657315. html Robotic Trends News Sources. (2012, November 29). Thought-controlled robotic limbs to reach first patients in early 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2012, from Robotic Trends website: http://www. roboticstrends. com/service_healthcare/article/ thought_controlled_robotic_limbs_to_reach_first_patients_in_early_2013 Urology. (n. d. ). Retrieved November 30, 2012, from Intuitive Surgical website: http://www. intuitivesurgical. com/specialties/urology/