Medical Robotics

Medical Robotics

Ahmad Taher Azar, M. Sam Eljamel
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0176-5.ch009
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Medical robotics is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on developing electromechanical devices for clinical applications. The goal of this field is to enable new medical techniques by providing new capabilities to the physician or by providing assistance during surgical procedures. Medical robotics is a relatively young field, as the first recorded medical application occurred in 1985 for a brain biopsy. It has tremendous potential for improving the precision and capabilities of physicians when performing surgical procedures, and it is believed that the field will continue to grow as improved systems become available. This chapter offers a comprehensive overview about medical robotics field and its applications. It begins with an introduction to robotics, followed by a historical review of their use in medicine. Clinical applications in several different medical specialties are discusssed. The chapter concludes with a discussion of technology challenges and areas for future research.
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2. Medical Robotics

The field of medicine has also been invaded by robots. They are not there to replace doctors and nurses but to assist them in routine work with precision tasks. Medical robotics is a promising field that really took off in the 1990s. Since then, a wide variety of medical applications have emerged: laboratory robots, telesurgery, surgical training, remote surgery, telemedicine and teleconsultation, rehabilitation, help for the deaf and the blind, and hospital robots. Medical robots assist in operations on heart-attack victims and make possible the millimeter-fine adjustment of prostheses. There are, however, many challenges in the widespread implementation of robotics in the medical field, mainly due to issues such as safety, precision, cost and reluctance to accept this technology. Medical robotics includes a number of devices used for surgery, medical training, rehabilitation therapy, prosthetics, and assistance to people with disabilities.

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