Upgrading surgery: the robot revolution

April 17, 2020 // By Stewart Goulding
Large swathes of industry are implementing powered and robotic applications to ensure high-quality repeatable processes. Hospital and medical professionals are also keen to implement these applications, especially with the current pressure on the medical system.

There are many factors escalating the growth of surgical robotics and equipment in the medical sector — from the level of training required to qualify as a surgeon and the taxing work hours to the reduced cost of automation.


A skilled profession

It takes 16 years to fully train a surgeon — this is a long-time, especially when, for example, it takes four to five years to fully train an engineer. Obviously, the first avenue to explore would be to reduce the amount of time it takes to train in the industry.

However, just like the engineering profession, the continual growth of new knowledge and the vast body of expertise and information already needed makes reducing training time nearly impossible.

At the same time, in the UK there are over 4.3 million people waiting for an operation, with research showing that the number of surgeries required per year is continually increasing. This means that other avenues must be explored.


Tooling a cure-all solution

Improving surgeon tools is one such option. Despite hacksaws and scalpels being reliable surgical tools, the growing number of procedures on the surgical table means that surgeons require tools that offer high levels of control and precision, time and time again.

Another factor driving the growth of surgical robots and equipment is that the increase in the number of surgeries is having a negative impact on the surgeon’s own well-being. Longer periods spent in the operating theatre are leading to medical professionals, especially orthodontic surgeons, suffering from fatigue and leading to painful back, neck and wrist conditions. These conditions can shorten careers and keeping surgeons healthy is clearly a top priority.

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