We’re Reaching A Tipping Point In Hospitals’ Adoption Of Robotics And Machine Intelligence

GiraffeBy Guest Blogger Donald G. Bellefeuille, Healthcare Strategist, Director, NBBJ

Don B head shot Donald G. Bellefeuille, NBBJ Healthcare Strategist, Director

In my upcoming webinar, “Robotics, Machine Intelligence and The Future of Hospitals,” the latest in Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC) Healthcare Innovation: Trends From The Trenches webinar series, I discuss how hospitals today are adopting and adapting to robotics and machine intelligence.

There are many examples out there and I’ll discuss a few in this post. To learn the whole story, please join Andrea Simon, PhD, President and Founder of SAMC, and myself as we co-host this free, 1-hour webinar airing this Friday, April 24th at noon ET. Register here.

Basic Machine Intelligence Is Proving Its Value Now

The eICU is a system that receives input from the EHR, monitors, pumps, and visual sources and feeds this information into a central control hub. If a patient’s condition worsens,the eICU automatically alerts clinicians so they can intervene faster.

Community hospitals that use this hyper-modern system benefit greatly because they can accommodate more complex patients than they otherwise would have been able to and patients’ lengths of stay are reduced. As the eICU’s capabilities continue to expand, it is now being used in other areas. The latest example is a new hospital in Joplin, Missouri that has extended the eICU’s deployment to ten regular acute care beds.

Another example of basic machine intelligence is Care Logistics’s clinical logistical control system. Currently, Care Logistics is focused on gaining as much efficiency as possible in patient throughput and this is resulting in reduced lengths of stay. Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts is also using this system to great success.

Robots Are Caring For You Now and You May Not Even Know It

Do you know anyone who has had cancer treatment with the CyberKnife radiosurgery system? It’s a robot, pure and simple. Of course, it requires a good amount of treatment planning and programming by physicians but once this is done, the machine does the work. Most people don’t realize this because 1) treatments are short, 2) nothing physically enters your body and 3) you are not in an operating room.

If you’re a man having a hair transplant, you can now count on ARTAS to robotically choose the hair follicles that will be transplanted. I can’t speak from experience but I understand that this is very tedious and precise work and that this machine does it better than a human. An added bonus? ARTAS leaves no scarring. So how long will it be before ARTAS does the follicle transplant itself?

We’re Reaching a Tipping Point

What is driving this tsunami of robotic development in healthcare is the need to provide medical care at much lower costs and at higher levels of reliability than ever before. Like other industries, healthcare now has all the enabling technologies it needs to adopt robotics and machine intelligence.

But will the tipping point be in five years or ten? Register for my Simon Associates Trends From The Trenches webinar on April 24 to find out more!