Robots and healthcare

Robots and healthcare

Cooee June 2016 Feature Robotics v3

The robots are coming and they could make a big difference in assisting you in providing rural and remote healthcare.

A remote ultrasound robot that enables the operator to sense touch has been developed by Victorian scientists at Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation.

The machine allows medical professionals to remotely conduct abdominal ultrasound procedures on a patient up to 1,000 kilometres away and diagnose a range of conditions including abdominal pain, abnormal liver function and enlarged organs.

The project has received funding and support from Telstra, which is trialling the technology across its network.

See what Telstra and Deakin have to say about the project.

Meanwhile, robotic surgery has become a reality in several countries including Australia.

The first robotically assisted hip replacement operation in Australia happened in Brisbane on 19 April, as reported by The Conversation.

Robots in the United States are currently used in many surgical procedures, including heart bypass surgery, kidney transplants, prostate removal, hysterectomy and hip replacement.

A recent US trial showed that a surgical robot outperformed human surgeons in stitching the small intestines of pigs back together.

In Japan, they have developed a giant robotic teddy bear that has been billed as Japan’s nurse assistant of the future. The machine has been designed specifically to assist in caring for Japan’s ageing population, supporting nurses by taking on heavy duty tasks such as lifting.

And for cute, it’s hard to top PARO a Japanese companion robot for patients in hospitals or aged care centres where live animals aren’t allowed.

As part of our focus on innovation in health, the NRHSN is keen to hear your thoughts on this trend and your experiences with health technologies and innovations such as these. Send us an email so that we can feature member experiences in future newsletters.