Robots are increasingly used in medicine in various disciplines. Not only does it make difficult interventions easier, but it also enables a whole new class of operations in the future.
Robotics in Medicine – That’s Behind It
More and more departments and clinics are using robots in medicine. Future operating room assistants have many useful functions and support surgeons in many ways.
- Robots have been used in medicine since the 1990s and have been continuously developed since then. While they could assist with operations at the time, older hardware could hardly keep up with today’s systems.
- Modern robotic systems, such as the well-known “Da Vinci” robot, assist in laparoscopy operations. These are procedures in which cameras are used in a minimally invasive manner through small incisions in the skin.
- In a classic laparoscopy without a robot, the camera is held by an assistant. The chief surgeon usually carries two other instruments to operate on while he or she can see the organs that were operated on on a monitor.
- With the surgical robot, the camera and tools no longer have to be carried by people, and therefore they can remain fixed in one position for a longer period of time.
- In the case of robotic systems with multiple arms, this means that more tools can be used in the process at the same time.
- The surgeon sits at the console and operates with joystick-like handles next to the operating area. Thus he has greater control over the tools.
- This means that surgeons can take turns during long surgeries or take short breaks during which the robot continues to hold the instruments.
Robot-assisted surgeries – where does the future take us?
While robotic operating rooms already play an important role in the healthcare system today, they will only be used for their actual purpose in the future.
- One of the main ideas behind surgical robots is remote-controlled operations.
- If there is good communication, a doctor in Germany could theoretically perform surgery on a patient on the other side of the world.
- However, there are several prerequisites for this. On the one hand, the robot must be controlled by a compatible controller, and on the other hand, it must be safe, stable and Fast internet connection present, allowing an uncomplicated operation.
- Since the Internet connections are not far enough, especially in Germany, to be able to work without delay and without disconnection, bots have not been widely used for this purpose until now.
- But in the near future, surgeries for patients with certain pathologies can be performed by a specialist hundreds of kilometers away.
- In the far future, some interventions could also be carried out entirely by a robot. However, how long it would take to reach this milestone is unclear.
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