Online Lifestyle Magazine for Healthcare Workers by Pulse Uniform

Arrival of Robot Nurse in Your Next Hospital Visit!

Technology has brought immense revolution in all corners of our life, including personal and professional life, family and business environment, and learning and entertainment arena. The consistent development of technology has made scientific research easier and more qualified. The similar innovations can easily be observed in the field of health sciences. A recent study based on a scientific experiment published by Dr. Elena De Momi and team in the widely accessible journal Frontiers in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence has claimed that “Robots can successfully imitate human motions in the operating room.” It indicates that a robot might be the nursing assistant for your next visit to the hospital.

Dr. De Momi, in Italy, of the Politecnico di Milano, led an international team that successfully trained an artificial robot to imitate natural human actions. The work indicates that humans and programmed robots can effectively to a precise level coordinate their activities during sensitive and high-stakes events such as surgeries.

With the passage of time, this should lead to remarkable improvements in safety during operations because unlike their human counterparts these mechanized robots do not tire and can complete an infinite series of precise movements in a well-to-do manner.  The goal is to complement human expertise in the operating room with a robot’s particular set of skills and benefits.

Dr. Momi informed us that as a roboticist, he is convinced that robotic collaborators and coworkers would transform the work market, however, they wouldn’t steal job opportunities for human nurses. They would just simply allow them to decrease workload and achieve better performance and results in several tasks and activities, from medicine to industrial applications.  

To conduct their practical experiment De Momi’s colleagues photographed a human nursing assistant performing various reaching movement, in an exact manner to handing instruments and nursing supplies to a surgeon. These camera shots were input in a coded form into the neural network of the robotic arm, which is vital to controlling the movements. Next, a human operator skillfully guided the robotic arm in exactly imitating the reaching motions that the earlier human subject had initially performed. Though there was not an accurately perfect overlap between the robotic and human actions, these were widely similar. Finally, many people observed as the robotic performed numerous motions. These observers checked and determined whether the robotic arms’ actions were “biologically inspired” that would stipulate that their neural networks had successfully learned to imitate human behavior. About 70% of the time it is the same what the human observers noted and concluded.

Although these results are promising, further research is crucial to validate or refine De Momi’s conclusion. If a robotic arm can indeed imitate human behavior, it would be essential to build conditions in which humans and robots can effectively cooperate in excess stress environments like operating theaters.

The future may not be as you might think. Because De Momi’s work is just a part of the growing field of healthcare robotics that has the enormous potential to cause a massive change the way we receive treatments and health care sooner rather than later.


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