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Healthcare Robotics Impact

Introduction

Today, robotics enters many spheres of life, including education, social life, and healthcare. The use of robots in healthcare allows advancing patient care and achieving better health outcomes. These physical systems that may change treatment processes, diagnostics, and patient monitoring provide an opportunity to assist more people. In general, robotics in healthcare serves to facilitate the overload of caregivers and contributes to findings solutions to health issues that cannot currently be addressed. Specifically to nursing care, robotics is useful to perform daily tasks such as medication delivery and medical supply retrieval. This paper aims at discussing the main aspects of the identified topic and present personal experiences associated with it.

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Main Features of Robotics in Healthcare and Experience

Socially assistive robotics (SAR) is one of the most elaborated areas that are largely implemented in healthcare. This type of assistance is based on several applications that focus on patients’ mental health, providing some interaction forms (Rabbitt, Kazdin, & Scassellati, 2015). For example, it is especially pertinent to older patients who tend to face loneliness and the lack of attention from their families. While nurses cannot spend sufficient time with such patients, robots may replace them. The research shows that robots that communicate with patients may act in various roles, being coaches or friends (Kachouie, Sedighadeli, Khosla, & Chu, 2014).

In case when older adults want to tell a story, robots may imitate some responses via microphones and cameras and truck the changes in the state of patients. More to the point, non-verbal communication may also be provided by the mentioned technology. In turn, nurses receive more time and save more energy to work on the tasks that require a human decision as well as a creative approach.

Robotics may benefit the clinical practice by introducing measurable improvements and achieving better collaboration between patients and caregivers. The key features of this technology are its automation of processes and the opportunity to note changes timely. If a patient needs some specific services, nurses may refer them to robots and then evaluate outcomes. When a patient is observed by a nurse-robot, his or her performance improves.

A person begins to be more interested in what is happening around, increasing interest in life, and recovery occurs faster. Rabbitt et al. (2015) state that the development of SAR requires not only technical improvements but also social confidence-building measures. The successful outcome of the rehabilitation of any patient depends primarily on the relationship between doctors and nurses performing therapy (Rabbitt et al., 2015). Thus, in the case of a robotic system acting as an assistant, the patient should develop absolute confidence in the system – a robot’s behavior should be completely predictable and safe. It becomes evident that further research is required to make robotics more confidential to prevent unauthorized access to patient data.

Personally, I have observed the positive impact of a robotic mattress on patients with pressure ulcers. In one of the organizations, I have worked for as a nurse, a special pressure mapping system was used to help such patients. In the course of three months, I discovered that automatic turns of robotic mattresses significantly facilitate pain from pressure ulcers. At the same time, patients reported that they felt better compared to lying on standard mattresses since the level of comfort increased. Another advantage that is associated with the impact on the clinical practice is the fact that nurses received the opportunity to focus on patients’ emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs. While the need to turn patients was referred to the robotic system, caregivers targeted empathy and the constant advancement of patient care.

My experience is consistent with recent results obtained by one of the academic studies in the field of robotics and healthcare. Based on implementing an automatic inner air-cell pressure adjustment mattress, Saegusa, Noguchi, Nakagami, Mori, and Sanada (2018) examined volunteers who were ready to participate in the project. The authors found that the increased immersion of a person was the main positive issue of the described intervention. Accordingly, the level of discomfort was reduced, and participants reported that their experience with robotic mattresses was positive. Among other measures that prove its effectiveness, better tissue oxygenation and deeper body immersion may be noted.

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Conclusion

To conclude, it should be stressed that healthcare robotics attempts to improve procedures and services, thus making care more effective and comprehensive. The key features of the mentioned technology include automation, assistance to patients, and continuous monitoring, and the reduction of workload for nurses. Specifically to nursing, robotics promotes better cooperation between patients and caregivers since the latter may allocate more time for building trust and empathy.

It was revealed that robots might help via social interaction with patients by reacting to their speech and providing appropriate responses. In patients who have pressure ulcers, robotic mattresses increase the level of comfort and enhance the overall disease management. I plan to use these insights in my nursing care by directly applying them and promoting further adoption of robotics.

References

Kachouie, R., Sedighadeli, S., Khosla, R., & Chu, M. T. (2014). Socially assistive robots in elderly care: A mixed-method systematic literature review. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 30(5), 369-393.

Rabbitt, S. M., Kazdin, A. E., & Scassellati, B. (2015). Integrating socially assistive robotics into mental healthcare interventions: Applications and recommendations for expanded use. Clinical Psychology Review, 35, 35-46.

Saegusa, M., Noguchi, H., Nakagami, G., Mori, T., & Sanada, H. (2018). Evaluation of comfort associated with the use of a robotic mattress with an interface pressure mapping system and automatic inner air-cell pressure adjustment function in healthy volunteers. Journal of Tissue Viability, 27(3), 146-152.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, August 6). Healthcare Robotics Impact. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/healthcare-robotics-impact/

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Healthcare Robotics Impact." August 6, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/healthcare-robotics-impact/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Healthcare Robotics Impact'. 6 August.

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