Medicine Man vs Robots

by Aubin Duchier

 

Medicine is growing rapidly these last decades and this is particularly due to improvement in science, research and the appearance of high technology, and robots. Robots had, have, and will have a big impact in the near and long-term future. They are growing and helping people all over the world directly in developed countries — because high technologies are easier to find — or indirectly in developing countries.

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Robots may seem very expensive at first sight but the reality is different. Firstly, the prices for a robot in medicine vary a lot from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars. These prices represent a single investment and so over the years, a particular investment on robots can become a significant saving. Consequently, these savings allow to invest more in innovation, research or new infrastructures. Furthermore, this multiplication of robots in medicine substitutes some jobs — such as nurse, doctor or surgeon during surgery or for some banal medical questions — but new one can be found in creation, development or maintenance of robots.

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Robots exist especially thanks to the Artificial Intelligence (AI). First of all, AI supports the work of the medical profession with a view to improved follow-up. It allows for long distance and daily monitoring.  In addition, it facilitates the access to information for doctors. Moreover, AI deals with a lot of data and information while doctors are often overwhelmed by that. It allows doctors a reduction in the workload. AI becomes a real help for doctors in many fields especially during crucial surgeries and it provides quicker, easier, and more efficient treatments. Finally, doctors can work at home as new possibilities are provided by technology.

In addition, robots help people not only with better treatments but also with rapid answers especially via chat bots. By crossing a lot of data, robots are able to provide a quick answer to patients. Also, they may remove some medical deserts in some areas. Furthermore, the goal of some robots is not only to cure but rather to prevent by warning and informing people and by the way of detecting earlier and better diseases. Some big medical issues might be avoided.

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In the future, robots are going to carry out pre-diagnosis and provide a first “sorting” for doctors. Also, due to the growing databases medical cures are going to be more adapted. Humans are being displaced by robots but human relation skills could never be owned by robots. Robots couldn’t be totally independent of humans in medicine. Educational institutions should evolve with new technology because it is almost impossible to predict the future. But, generally, they have to move towards robots development and maintenance jobs.

Even though robots provide a lot of opportunities to make a better world in medicine, a lot of critical issues persist. The first point is that people are worried about the human interaction that is going to disappear over the years. The second point and maybe the biggest one is that people are scared to depend only on technology. If a robot generates a big mistake or even the death of someone, what will happen?

 

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