Robots have enormous potential in medical and healthcare applications, as is evident in the swift pace of penetration in the sector. Per a projection by the International Federation of Robots (IFR), the medical robots spawn a multibillion dollars market. Robotics technologies have made vast leaps since their adoption in surgeries.
The transformative potential of medical robots have been notably shaped by concomitant advances–the troika of computing power, artificial intelligence (AI), and electronics. Continued advances in the underlying microelectronics, particularly the miniaturization of these, and incorporation of cutting-edge AI have helped robotics to make inroads in surgery.
Robot-Assisted Surgeries Present Incredible Avenue, Pace of Commercialization High
Surgical robots have been an incredible avenue for robots developing companies. They have zealously developing medical robots that are used in robot-assisted surgeries. These medical robots typically work alongside surgeons and physicians, allowing them to control its function sitting afar with unparalleled precision and accuracy. Over the past few years, a few robot-assisted surgeries have bagged FDA approvals, with da Vinci being a popular example.
Whether medical robots have led to an increase in long-term surgical outcomes is still debatable. Nonetheless, what has been found to be unarguably true is the fact that surgical robots add to the ergonomics and dexterity of surgeons. The key yardstick where medical robots have surpassed all expectations is advancing the laparoscopic approach. These are thus being demanded in complex urological procedures.
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Product Development Avenues Focus On All Key Performance Criteria
The uptake of medical robots in healthcare has been notably circumscribed by their abilities to meet the various performance criteria typical to the sector. These criteria notably relate to kinematics, dexterity, control, sterilization, and operator control.
The product development avenues in the medical robots market have expanded profoundly with the relentless focus of robot companies to make these less power intensive. Demand in hospital settings has also thrived on the back of companies unveiling robots that meet well-defined standards. A case in point is the growing array of medical robots that comply with IEC 80601-2-77 and IEC 80601-2-77. These and other safety regulations ensure that medical robots do not pose any danger to patients and to healthcare staff while operating.
Certain Asian Countries High on Adoption
The profound potential notwithstanding, high cost of medical robots is certainly a contentious issue.
It might be a tough trade-off for hospitals looking for a cutting-edge surgical robotic systems in their workflow. Aside from this category, numerous other market segments of medical robots have risen in popularity. Depending on the objective of their use, they have fallen into neat categories of care robots, disinfection robots, rehab robots, and hospital robots. These are in no way exhaustive list, and the applications continue to expand boosting the medical robots market. Various Asian nations—particularly Japan—have adopted care medical robots for their elderly population. The scope of humanoid nursing robots is Japanese healthcare system is remarkable, with other countries such as France, China, and India opening their patient care for robot utilization.
Management of Covid-19 Pandemic Brings Medical Robots to Forefront Once Again
In recent times, medical robots have shown great promise in the management of Covid-19 pandemic. Healthcare systems in countries with China and Korea being glaring examples have shown high proclivity toward utilizing medical robots in minimizing person-to-person contact. The popularity of automation technologies including robotics in patient care has also stemmed from the fact that countries have faced huge crunch of healthcare staff in managing the pandemic. Developed and emerging economies that have been worst hit due to pandemic in 2020 put a high hope of medical robots to reduce morbidity and the larger health burden. In this regard, radiologist robots and spraying/disinfestation robots have gained special attention of healthcare providers. For instance, UV disinfection robots have been used for infection prevention in Denmark
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Propositions fueling the use will get stronger with time, unarguably. In this backdrop, robots manufacturers and other industry players comprising the ecosystem will need to work toward better standardization protocols to bring safety and reliability in the use of medical robots.