The use of robotics in healthcare isn’t new. The Davinci system has been used for various types of surgeries and the uses cases have been expanding for some time now. Recently, with the introduction of AI in healthcare and its expanding use cases, some interesting overlaps between these two areas are emerging.
One of the first areas where we’re seeing interesting synergies is in the operating room. Although this is still in its early stages, the use cases being discussed involve improving surgeons’ decision making, increasing the precision of procedures, improving the economics and workflow of the operating room and surgery and using predictive analytics to see which patients have the highest risk of complications
Certain algorithms are being piloted that guide imaging that helps surgeons to make their surgery more precise. This could be an intermediate step before we reach full robotics use guided by AI. Intuitive Surgical is one of the companies that’s currently experimenting with such systems. Harrison AI is an Australian company that’s using AI to read pathology slides for better and faster pattern recognition, which is a critical and time-consuming step in the OR during surgery.
Cognitive robotics can integrate information from pre-operation medical records with real-time operating metrics to guide and enhance the precision of physicians’ instruments. By processing data from genuine surgical experiences, they’re able to provide new and improved insights and techniques. These kinds of improvements can improve patient outcomes and boost trust in AI throughout the surgery. Robotics can lead to a 21% reduction in length of stay
Verily has partnered with Johnson & Johnson to create Verb Surgical, a robotic surgery company that “involves machine learning, robotic surgery, instrumentation, advanced visualization and data analytics”. Meanwhile, human-like robots with humanoid features and temperaments are already being made, especially in Japan. These robots can be powered by AI software and perform a multitude of tasks including providing assistance and even companionship for the elderly. They can make eye contact and track humans, using sensors to detect moods and respond appropriately.
Intuition Robotics has created a robot, ElliQ, that will be used to help seniors with a variety of tasks including by providing medication reminders, wellness suggestions and friendly conversations in a “proactive and empathetic” manner. This is an in-home, artificial intelligence-enabled companion robot that’s designed to increase seniors’ independence and keep them socially active. Through voice commands, emotive gestures or its paired tablet screen, seniors can use the device to initiate video calls, send messages, schedule appointments and receive medication reminders. ElliQ is designed to proactively initiate conversations with its users or to suggest activities like physical exercises, trivia games, sleep relaxation exercises or informational discussions on nutrition