Technologies have penetrated many industries and helped professionals work with ease. Be it the Internet of Things, augmented and virtual reality, or robotics, all these technologies have been beneficial through lowered production costs and increased productivity.
Mainly, healthcare systems have incorporated robotic technology to conduct all their critical tasks and lower the risk of any major health diseases. As we move forward in this blog let’s take a look into what medical robots are, their types, functions, and future innovations.
Let’s dig in!
What is A Medical Robot?
Robotic machines that are used in the medical sciences are called medical robots. In surgical operations, laboratory specimens, disinfections, the delivery of drugs, and many other applications, medical robots are being used.
Medical robots perform tasks that go beyond the capabilities of human beings as well as others that surgeons, nurses, and doctors of internal medicine are simply unable to fulfill. The rise of fatigue in humans during prolonged operations is a crucial element in this regard.
According to predictions by Extrapolate, the market for medical robots is likely to reach a valuation of USD 22.89 billion by 2030. The number of authorized surgical robots in use worldwide is rising due to the latest innovation and their significant social impact, allowing the field of medical engineering as a whole to expand its scope of application.
How Have Medical Robots Evolved Over the Years?
In 1991, transurethral resection of the prostate (an interventional urological method for sick tissue) was done, marking the very first surgery in which a medical robot assisted the surgeon. Several further operations were then followed to cure complex diseases.
Robotics was soon widely used in Germany as well, and then medical robots provided assistance with bone surgery. More than ever, the ongoing transition is visible in medical robots. The numerous robotics systems and equipment that are in the review process are proof of the innovations and steady developments that exist in the area.
Functions and Constituents of Medical Robots
Medical robots are available in an extensive range of sizes, shapes, and constructions, and they can be outfitted with a vast array of highly customized parts. However, their basic building blocks typically consist of a controller and a manipulator. The latter often takes the form of a robot arm with, sensors, a motor system, and the so-called effector that is intended to carry out activities.
The medical robot's effector, which resembles a gripper arm depending on the application being used, serves as a connection between the robot and its surroundings by carrying out commands. Even though electrical drive technology is frequently used, each application will determine how many segments and joints are needed. In addition to identifying the location of the manipulator, the sensor system also gathers and transmits various types of data to the robot's controller, such as distances and camera images.
The conditions in which a medical robot is deployed have a significant impact on how it is operated. The surgeon actively controls the robot during surgical procedures. The robotic arm moves in unison with those created using joysticks, consoles, and other similar control devices (telemanipulation control). If the robot needs to carry out specific actions on its own, it must be manually programmed beforehand or specified through offline programming.
What New Trends Can We Observe in the Realm of Robotic Surgery?
On June 13, 2023, two cardiac surgical operations using the company’s SSi Mantra surgical robotic system were successfully completed. The company developing cutting-edge surgical robotic technology is committed to making robotic surgery accessible and inexpensive to the general public worldwide.
There are over 4.5 billion people without access to cardiac surgery globally, according to a study published in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Between 80,000 and 90,000 cardiac operations are performed annually in India alone, despite the fact that about 2.5 million people need them.
The Leading Giants in Medical Robotics
The demand for home care, preventative care, early diagnosis, quicker patient recovery, enhanced outcomes, and the importance of technologies like machine learning, augmented reality, 5G, and digitalization all continue to fuel the medical device sector's innovation.
However, not all innovations develop equally, nor do they always advance. Instead, their evolution resembles an S-shaped curve that depicts their usual lifetime of early emergence, accelerated acceptance, stabilization, and maturation. Prominent companies operating in medical robots are mentioned below:
Omron is a renowned company that manufactures a variety of electronic systems and parts for healthcare and manufacturing automation. Omron, along with Keyence and Nabtesco, is a key supplier to the robotics sector. It is anticipated that the company will gain from China's efforts to automate its industrial sector, which have been a key endeavor for the nation over the past few years. The business has expanded with an autonomous intelligent vehicle (AIV) for transporting goods and materials inside factories and storage facilities. For home use, Omron created the first single-lead electrocardiogram and blood pressure monitor.
Johnson & Johnson
After acquiring Auris Health and its Monarch system for bronchoscopic treatments in 2019, Johnson & Johnson revealed information about its new robotic surgical system, Ottava, in 2020. Johnson & Johnson worked on the Ottava system's validation throughout 2021, with the intention of starting clinical trials in 2022. Ottava will be able to carry out a number of surgeries that the da Vinci system can already carry out, according to the company. DePuy Synthes, a division of the firm, declared that the VELYS system would be FDA-510(k) cleared in 2021. It is anticipated that the device will fit into both large and small operating rooms, adjusting to a surgeon's workflow and assisting with precise bone cuts during total knee replacement procedures.
Stryker is a company that pioneers hip and knee replacement implant techniques. With China, India, and Africa all experiencing fast urbanization, the number of people seeking knee and hip replacements is rising quickly. K2M, a pioneer in minimally invasive and complex spine solutions, was acquired by Stryker in 2018 for $1.4 billion. The transaction, according to Stryker, strengthened its position as the market leader in spine and neurotechnology. Mako is a robotic arm that Stryker created to help surgeons during operations.
Medical Robotics Could Enter New Frontiers
Medical robotics technology is expected to undergo an extensive amount of development in the future. Some of these advancements include the use of AI in surgery, increased healthcare automation, and the creation of new varieties of medical robots. The use of robots in spine surgery and other surgical procedures is also anticipated to increase, providing dependable and constant intraoperative support. Medical robotics is undoubtedly a field of technology that will experience substantial growth and innovation in the years to come.