While some may be wary of the increasing implementation of robotics in the medical realm, the airline industry offers a great mind-easing comparison. In the early days, pilots were entirely responsible for a plane’s navigation, and rates of crashes and unforeseen travel errors were higher than today. With the eventual incorporation of computers and navigation tools, pilots altered their skill set to incorporate technology, ultimately resulting in safer air travel. Although they have the capabilities, if needed, to maneuver a plane manually, they are currently taught to utilize technology for more efficient travel. While pilots may use their skill set differently now, technology aids them tremendously — individuals can go farther, faster, and smoother, to the credit of these innovations.
The utilization of robotics in healthcare is on a similar trajectory — although physicians are learning the traditional manual approaches in medical school, they are increasingly receiving training with the help of technology and robotics, too. It’s been shown that similar to a modern day decrease in troublesome plane travel, robotic surgery may result in quicker recovery times and more precise maneuvering during a procedure.
Just as pilots have adapted to modern-day flying practices, physicians will continue to utilize their unique skill sets, while also balancing the inclusion of technology. Our CorPath GRX robotic device is currently used by physicians to perform minimally invasive vascular procedures which previously exposed them to taxing conditions and high levels of radiation exposure. The CorPath GRX System reduces radiation exposure by 95 percent for the operating physician and 15 percent for the technologist, while also reducing the orthopedic stress associated with long, arduous procedures. This is a huge win for physician and staff safety and health, while also improving patient outcomes. Furthermore, robotics allows physicians to focus on what matters most: the patient. Tools like CorPath GRX can increase overall precision and control, but a physician’s clinical judgment and element of compassion will always have significant value in the cath lab.
Other industries are shifting to incorporate technology and robotic devices in the everyday workflow, and the healthcare industry is slowly starting to adapt to the movement — for good reason. With physician burnout rates closing in on 80%, robotic technology is poised to curb this burnout rate by reducing the physical toll paid by physicians. Robotic platforms and devices are now at our fingertips, with the hopes of enhancing skills and decreasing the chances of a negative outcome. While a pilot still needs the skills to fly, physicians need the skills to perform life-saving procedures.