Medical Robotics and the Future of Healthcare

Robotic surgery, or robot-assisted surgery, allows doctors to perform many types of complex procedures with more precision, flexibility, and control than is possible with conventional techniques. Robotic surgery is usually associated with minimally invasive surgery — procedures performed through tiny incisions. It is also sometimes used in certain traditional open surgical procedures.

This technology involves almost every field of engineering. For example, computer programmers build the code to perform a task and load it into the system; mechanical engineers design and construct the robotic elements; electrical engineers design and install the necessary circuits, etc. 

The key advantages and disadvantages of this technological approach are:

Advantages

  1. Smaller Incisions and Less Trauma: The nature of robotic surgery is less invasive, which means the patient experiences less pain and quicker recovery time.
  2. Higher Surgical Accuracy: Robotic surgery robots aren’t susceptible to the shaking or other strain-related movements a human surgeon might experience.
  3. Reduced Surgeon Fatigue: Surgery robots allow the surgeon to sit comfortably while operating.

Disadvantages

  1. The Expense of Surgery: Surgery is an expensive proposition at the best of times. The high cost of installing a robotic surgery system can increase the cost of a surgical procedure. Surgical robots are costly to maintain, and their operation requires additional training, which is also expensive.
  2. Movement Latency: One of the most significant problems with robotic surgery is the issue of latency – the time it takes for the robot to carry out the surgeon’s commands

Robotic surgery is one of the surgical methods using advanced system technology. For example, the Da Vinci Surgery System is the first robotic system approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for generic surgeries. This system provides a three-dimensional magnification display screen that permits the health practitioner to view the operative place with the readability of high decision. The operation of robotic surgery allows doctors to insert microdevices into your body and perform the operation with such mechanisms. This tool performs the same way as a videogame where we control the character or element by pressing certain buttons. Similarly, doctors manipulate the devices using joystick control systems. 

Going back in time, the PUMA560 is the first robotic surgical arms that performed surgery in 1985 under assistance. It happened to be the first surgical robotic arm ever created too.

The surgical arms are advanced technology which reduces the risk of getting an infection during surgeries. The infection occurs when there is contact between the tissues and surgical tools. This surgical arms takes less time for surgery and occupies a considerably small space. The success rate is high when compared with traditional surgery because in traditional surgery there are chances of undergoing certain physiological problems such as stress, confusion, or agitation, but this does not occur when using machines. There are several types of robotic applications such as robotic-assisted cardiovascular surgery, robotic head and neck surgery, robotic urologic surgery, robotic surgery for knee replacement surgery, etc. 

This technology is widely used in the United States, Canada, and the European Union. 

In India, the first robotic surgery held was at A.I.I.M.S in new Delhi. Numerous hospitals are trying to implement and utilize this technology for critical surgeries. The advancements will bring interactive and virtual realistic-assisted robotic systems where we can operate from anywhere in the world on an end-to-end matrix basis. 

 

This article is co-authored by Dr. Raul Villamarin Rodriguez, Pokala Pranay Kumar, and Jakka Kavya Sree