Will robots take over the world? We’ve all heard this hypothetical, and rather disturbing, dystopian scenario of humanoids stealing our jobs and eventually causing ruin to mankind. Now, this situation is decades away for it to even be a plausible concern. But right now? These very autonomous robots are saving lives in hospitals, transforming the jobs of firefighters, and even creating more jobs. Our first blog post will cover just one of these benefits: healthcare.
The debate about autonomous robots revolves around the tradeoff between the ethicality of having human tasks conducted by robots as compared to the precision and accuracy gained by using them. But the benefits seem to outweigh the concerns -- at least, in hospitals.
Autonomous robots will save thousands of lives in the healthcare industry. The Center for Disease Control conducted a study in 2017 dealing with the hospital-acquired diseases including MRSA and C. Diff. Their study stated that 1 in 25 people contract these infections (Center for Disease Control). The Xenex Robot, a robot that makes hospital areas more hygenic, changes this. According to a study conducted by the Westchester Medical Center, the introduction of the Xenex Robot leads to a 70% reduction in such diseases (Westchester Medical Center). Autonomous robots such as Xenex have the potential to significantly increase human safety and health.
On the other hand, autonomous robots have been proven superior to traditional surgery methods, eliminating these errors. The Nationwide Inpatients Sample Data Project was a study in 2015 conducted examining over 1 million cases of robotic/nonrobotic surgery. The study found that a patient was 4x more likely to perish from traditional open-surgery methods than from robotic surgery. (US National Library of Medicine). Thus, through increased precision, autonomous robots have the potential to save countless lives in eliminating the errors inherent in our human nature.
Ultimately, hospitals are one group that face a lot of the benefits of artificial intelligence and robotics. Thank you for reading, and tune in soon to hear about our next topic in artificial intelligence!