Medical Breakthrough: Meet Dr. Robot, Your Future Surgeon!By Anita V, UniversityHerald Reporter
One day, a robot might be getting a degree in surgery and helping doctors to stitch tissues. At least this is what scientists at Washington's Children National Health System are developing. Dr. Peter Kim, a pediatric surgeon and leader of the project, excitedly explains that intelligent tools can assist surgeons and improve outcomes. This robotic system is said to be 'super smart' and 'autonomous'.
STAR, Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot, has one important duty - that is - stitch up tissue. This specific task allows a programmable system so that everything will be automated. In the US, robotic arm has been used in many sectors from education to industrial. It is almost the same with self-driving cars that can warn drivers and control the motion to prevent any crash.
As for this robot, it works like a sewing machine. Dr. Axel Kriger, who is involved in developing the system, further explains how the robot is still fully supervised and directed by the surgeon. However, this is an innovative tool that enables a surgeon to program the ideal spacing, the tension, or how many stitches; while the robot executes the plan. This intelligent system is hoped to decrease medical error that currently becomes news in the US.
Compared to the current practice, Dr. Kim says that the machine does better in complex task as it is able to decrease complication, as reported by the Big Story. The robot has been tested to perform a surgery in pig's intestine and did a great job. In fact, better.
While not planning to replace a surgeon, Dr. Kim explains that an intelligent machine will definitely improve the outcome. He does not encourage doctors to leave the operation room as the robot does its task. But he stresses how a surgeon can have a 'more precise calculation' in stitching tissues; that eventually could save more lives.
Would you let a robot stitch you?