Are Robotic Surgeons The Next Step ?

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The advent of three dimensional human tissue printers and artificial skin has given rise to the innovation of robotics- more than filling is for the assembly lines of electronic components and automobiles.

Artificial intelligence may have been a far-fetched idea a decade ago, with a lot of Hollywood movies depicting the use, abuse, control, domination and downfall of an AI automated environment, that makes people think twice about putting their fate in the hands of robots and computers.

But getting used to the idea of a machine doing a far more better job than a human may give you the willies, scientists and medical surgeons have recently tested a supervised autonomous robot at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington performing soft-tissue surgery and stitching a pig’s bowel better than a human surgeon.

The ongoing study by the researchers revealed that the machine dubbed Smart-Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) is not intended to replace human surgeons, insisting that these are more of evaluations to provide experiences and methods on how precision-based operations or surgeries can be better done.

Project lead and associate surgeon in chief of the hospital Dr. Peter Kim pointed out that this technology is more on instructing surgeons on how they can optimally conduct the procedures.

Dr. Kim assures that making robots this way can ease patient concerns about getting the best care and procedures for their health problems, as he pointed out that human intervention is still a key factor in making these robots work.

The use of robots in medicine and surgery is not new, in fact, science has taken great strides in employing robots to assist medical practitioners.

To allay fears, experts have been able to identify the major benefits of robotics in the medicine as of late;

Robotic surgery can only be performed with experienced surgeons taking control. This is particularly true with the da Vinci SI robotic platform that employs precise, small and minimally invasive tools entirely controlled by trained surgeons.

It minimizes scars and fewer incisions. Robots used for surgery are designed to adapt to smaller movement increments to allow less disturbance and minimal intrusion with surrounding tissues to prevent extensive damage.

Less pain, lower risk of infection. Minimal invasive intrusion in human tissues during surgery reduces wound size and avoids risk of infection by keeping tissue damage to the minimum.

Faster recovery due to the minimal tissue damage and invasion.

Image Credit: Would you let a robot perform your surgery by itself? – CNN

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