When we first started seeing robots in movies regularly, they seemed like something that purely came out of someone’s imagination of a far, far future. Just remember the first time you saw C-3PO and R2-D2 – could you imagine them becoming regular assistants in general practice, helping diagnose hundreds of thousand diseases in a year, disinfecting rooms and keeping someone company? Probably not because no one could have imagined the speed in which technology would develop and influence every aspect of our lives, from the way we communicate to the way we make doctor consultations or try to find a good family doctor in Amsterdam. However, whether you like it or not, this is our reality today and as a result of this, healthcare all over the world has access to all kinds of innovative and useful solutions, robots being just one small, but extremely significant part of it.
The beginnings of robots in medicine
Even though robots have been part of our lives for a long time, most of it we saw on the big screen, while their entrance into the world of medicine is relatively new. The decade that we now mark as the beginning of using robots in healthcare is the eighties, with the introduction of robotic surgery using Puma 650 robot that improved precision in neurosurgical biopsies. It took us even less than half a century to have robots now being part of modern patient care and to assist even primary care doctors. Although still not used globally and in every general practice in the world, robots are on a steady path of becoming irreplaceable and responsible, reliable friends. But, would this affect healthcare professionals?
The question everyone is asking
According to numerous expert opinions, definitely – just not in a negative way. We’re already witnesses of numerous effects and improvements technology has had on our lives – with online medical consultations and gadgets used for monitoring our health just being a small piece of the puzzle. If we approach things rationally, robots can be a perfect addition to the well thought out system – they don’t need a break, food or sleep, they don’t have prejudice or favorites, don’t mind repeating the same task for the millionth time and never complain. This being said, humans shouldn’t worry – the only tasks robots will replace are those that people don’t enjoy doing anyway while, for example, a primary care physician, nurse or any other professional in a modern family practice could focus their precious time to the essence of their job – caring for their patients.
Elevating the quality of life
By embracing robots in medicine, healthcare professionals and general practices can reduce human error and enhance the quality of life of their patients. Although there will undoubtedly still be many mistakes we can learn from, the overall benefits, in the long run, are immeasurable just because they directly affect our most valuable possession, our health.