Robotics is the new age technological gains for the people facing mental illness. These robots acts as a companion coach and play partner with the medically ill people. This way a huge gap between the people who need assistance and the service providers has been filled by the robots. In the followings an attempt will be made to help understand the need, benefits and application of the Robotics in medical field.
Robotics or Robots are the new age machines developed with the purpose to offer assistance in mental healthcare applications. Therefore the unique area of robotics offers an immersive help in aiding the human users especially facing the mental impairment with different kinds of support and facilities. The various kinds of assistance offered by robots include the followings.
Robotics helps in offering mobility assistance to the patients. They allow the patients to use themselves as means to move around. The patient’s therefore won’t have to wait for another human help and could use the already available machine or robots at any point to time to move around like going to washroom and moving out in the garden. This way the dependence on the human factors has been decreased by manifolds. MIT-Manus Arm system is a robot that helps the people suffering from strokes to physically guide them with the right kind of exercises and help them move to a safer place before or after the attack.
Robotics helps in offering the patients suffering from mental impairment with the chance to learn and get education up to some levels. This way the human factor which could feel tired and even may give up while dealing with the patient’s with mental impairment, the robots can help in delivering education with no tiredness. These robots also offer education, coaching and even motivation to the mentally ill patients so that they can work towards improving their plight and live a better life. Bandit is a robot that offers coaching to the patients so that they can learn new things and improve their ability to understand problems.
Robotics helps in increasing the social interactions of the robots. This way they offer a human like response to the patients suffering from different kind of mental impairment. They give expression and response and in return tries to interpret the impression of the humans and their physical touch with the view to understand their state of mind and support them accordingly. Leonardo is a robot that helps in understanding the state of mind of the people and responds them accordingly with the purpose to fulfill the social gap between the patient’s and real life people. RCT is another robot that helps the older patient’s in applying control over their weights by directing them with the knowledge of benefits with the weight loss. They even direct the patient with the different method ideal for losing weight.
Robotics also helps in a good and quality time pass method for the people who are elders or mentally impaired. This way they learn lessons of courtesy, good habits for good health and other related. Thus the mentally impaired after offered with presence of robot specially designed to cater their different needs and fulfill their social requirements of meeting, greeting, playing and learning (Gonzales & Riek, 2012).
The pressure of present day life, social problems and mental illness from birth has created presence of mental illness patients in huge numbers around the world. In United States, 25% of the people meet the criteria developed for diagnosing the psychiatric conditions with 50% out of them meeting the pre-requisites of medical attention. This way the personal distress and impairment has been consistently on the rise in the living of people in the United States. Only 33% of the people in the United States receive the individual psychiatric medical health treatment, leaving the 67% still waiting for their turn (Rabbit et al., 2014). Therefore there exist a huge gap between the service taker and service provider. The various reasons behind the increase in number of personal distress and mental impairment are due to the various issues such as earnings loss, criminal justice expense, family pressure etc. These factors actually affect the living conditions and mental status of the people in the today’s life. The incoming of the economic slowdown brought with it job loss and loss of wealth in the stock market. This affected the mental conditions of many people and therefore resulted in bringing extra mental stress and impairment in the common people. Along with that the life style in the United States with rising divorce, breach of trust and other factors has also added to the tension factors of the Americans. Therefore the upcoming of the mental illness and impairment is thought natural. This way the present day living conditions and life style are responsible for increasing the pressure on brain. The brain is made to work hard, think about financial loss, relation loss and even misery with no rest. The result is raising pressure on brain leading to various kinds of mental impairments (Broadbent et al., 2014).
The modern day technological advancement especially in making robotics has helped in giving a sign of relief and support to such people facing mental impairment. This robotics has been developed with the purpose to offer medical support to the people facing personal distress and mental impairment. The number of mental assistant is less as compared to the people who need their attention. Therefore the use of technological gains such as robots is developed with the view to offer assistance to the people suffering from mental impairment. These robots are designed to play different roles in the life of humans. It offers the role of companion, coach and play partner (Takacs & Hanak, 2008).
The robots made through Robotics actually acts as companion. Human are social animals, but for the mentally impaired patients it really becomes difficult for them to maintain their link with the other people in the other people in the society. Therefore robots offer them with the company and companionship that could help in bringing sense of belongingness to the world. This way the stress from the minds is relieved using the technological gains that act as blessings in disguise for the mentally impaired patients (Bradshaw, 2007).
The robots act as coach for the mentally ill and old age patients. They direct these patients with the intake timings of the medicine help them in movement to wash room or outside the building, stay close and connected with them at any time of the day etc. This way the robots act as coach that guides the patients toward better living (Asbridge et al., 2006).
The robots also play the role of play partner. They help as a good friend for spending time along with the patients. They offer the patient with the companionship in playing games that may be educative or even time pass. This way they help they remove the loneliness from their life (Mackay, 1995).
The new age robots are already being used in mental healthcare applications. That is they offer assistance to different people.
Robots help the doctors to understand the health issue with the patient. The various technological inputs and gadgets developed overtime helps in recognizing the health issue with the patient. The medical tools and technology helps in recording the blood pressure, sugar level, heart rate and other things that are utter importance while inspection of the human body. This way the doctors are equipped with the new age assistance through robots that offers an in-depth support in reviewing the health position of the patients and get to the real problem easily and quickly.
Robots offer great help to the patients. The newly developed robotics through Robotics helps the patients in identifying the problem with them. The carrying of various medical devices helps in recording the blood pressure throughout the day, the mental stress and mental ailment if any are early identified by the robots. This way the patients are given an early alert about the need to meet the doctor. Also in the extreme need of help they provide the patients with the early identification of problem that may lead to serious issue or output and thereby raise the need of meeting the doctor immediately (Sarah et al., 2007).
Robotics technology has developed such robots that help in the surgery process. They offer the insight of the patient body and the view of the exact image and position of the issue within the patient body helps the surgeon to do the surgery with lesser chances of error. Thus the surgeons get the facilitation of the robots while making operations. This way robot helps in health care application with different types of support to the surgeons (Robinson et al., 2014).
The present day hectic life of the human beings especially in the developed countries and fast moving cities, the psychological problems has also increased by manifolds. However the potential of robotics in dealing with the psychological problems has also been identified. It has been found out that the robots can act as a partner who shares life with especially those people who feel alone. They can move along and even give a human touch in talking and responding on various suffering and day to day activities of the people. This way robots could become a partner everyone can trust on in this world where the issues of loss of faith, rise in tension due to financial loss affects the minds of the people (Sarah et al., 2007).
The efforts are required to be made by the psychologist to work with the Robotics technology so that the efforts could be made to avoid mental impairment in the people due to the rising stress level in life. Thus the self management of the human beings through effective medication support is possible. That is the networked robots offers the patients with the preset desired set of directions and guidelines through networking application. These robots therefore respond to the patients respective of the particular requirements given for them. They not only record the activities and direct to the patient but also maintain records of the daily activities that have been performed by the patient. This way the doctor related is given consistent reporting about the methods and guidelines followed by the patient. Thus the doctor remains in contact with each patient’s health through the networking guided robots (Ramus, 2003).
The robots have therefore taken the place of a close assistant who would remain physically present with the patient. They keep records of the daily intake of medicine, medical health of the patient and report timely to the related doctor or surgeon. Not only that they keep the patient guiding at various times about the time to take medicine, follow instructions of doctor and even suggest exercises as opted by doctor. The result outcome is improved and enhanced communication between the doctor and patient. Also many patients are handled at one time by one doctor. Also the patients are saved from the incremental burden of health care on self or family members through the deployment of robots at every home (Tiwari et al., 2016)
The early responses about the socially assistive robotics made on 300 elderly residents revealed the results that people were ready to participate in the new age process of accepting robots as their support. The research was made through personal interviews and written questionnaire formats. The outcome revealed that the each session made by the robot on the patient brought extremely well results. Thus vital signs of improvements in the health were observed in the patients especially the one suffering mental health and illness. Although it was noticed earlier that the patients and their relatives had no or less hope from the robots, but soon after the sessions, the thoughts were completely changed. Many patients requested to continue their health care program with the support of robots (Takacs & Hanak, 2008).
The participants were actually old age people between ages of 83 years to 92 years. Among them 50% were males and the rest 50% were females. The 7-9 day interaction and survey gave out positive response from the deployment of robots. It was rather figure out that after the 5th day, the patients preferred the support of robots than humans for taking good and sincere care of them. The questionnaires filling also revealed that the patients who had the session with the robot were actually enthusiastic about the support from the robots. They found that the robots were a better option that would have no side effects. These old age people were impressed with the memory of robots in recalling their medication, understanding and responding to their interaction and even offering educational details to them. This way the robots were considered as a better option than human and were accepted quickly than expectations (Blane, 2006).
Robots could help in offering the old age patients with the facility of medication management at home. The present day society set up clearly depicts that children and grand children have to move out at regular intervals for their job, schools and other purposes. Therefore the time to give care and attention to the old age people is quite short. Also the expenditure on deploying a human for the care of old age person has become a costly matter. Even after deploying an medical assistant for the old age people, the complaints of careless mistakes and non-seriousness to their work has been reported at various times. Thus the old age people and the mentally ill people are in grave need of a system development that could offer them with an effective medical care with no errors (Bartley, 2003).
Keeping in mind such a system development motive, the robots are developed in the present day world with the purpose to cater the needs of health care of old age and mentally ill people. The old age people get the support of the efficient medication management while at home. That is the robots could be deployed at home at a one-time expenditure. This actually brings in a 24 hour medical attention at home. The robots take full care of the old age person by delivering the quality outcome as recorded by the doctor. That is they alert the patient in taking medicine on time, suggest them with the exercises suggested by the doctor and even play with them. This way they get easily accepted at home. The other family members also find the robot impressive enough that they don’t mind a machine moving around them with the motive of taking care of the elders (Blane, 2006).
The mentally ill patients also get a friend to talk and interact with. The robots respond to their talks and even note down their body movement while talking. These recordings are forwarded to the doctor so that the in-depth view of the patient’s condition and decide the best course of action that could bring out best results in terms of good health gains (Prakash et al., 2016).
Robots help in achieving number of benefits in healthcare field. These include the followings.
- The patients are given reminders about the adherence with the doctor advice at different times.
- The medication safety is addressed t regular intervals.
- Motivation is applied on the patients on taking medicines and following exercises advised by the doctor to keep the health on the improvement tracks.
- Better communication between the doctor and patient is finally developed.
- Expenditures on calling doctors declines by manifolds. This way the doctor remains in contact with the patient round the clock and does not have to pay personal visit to the patient for administering new set of advice and medicines.
- The patient gets the facilitation of movement to any place with the help of the robots that offers physical support.
- The mental support is offered by the robots which brings in them sense of belongings and new light of hope in them.
- The interaction with the robots brings in new life and the patients especially suffering from loneliness and less care starts improving at higher pace.
- Robots offers the patient with the drug information and along with them gives them tailored education of the food material and medicine intake.
- Robots also provide the patients and doctors with regular alerts and call for assistance as and when required.
- Robots offer the patient with the vital signs of monitoring and through that brings out cognitive training session for the good health and care of the patients.
The critical review of the application of robots on medical adherence in developed countries can be done as follow.
The critics are of the view that increasing dependence on the robots especially for health care could lead to serious issue and problem in future. The robots are just machines and therefore could only work as per directions. They can’t change their decisions based on the changed circumstances. Therefore the need of human interference at regular intervals becomes compulsory to make the use of robotics for the health care system becomes important.
Another set of critics claims that robots cannot take the place of humans. They don’t have emotions, heart and sensibility. These robots are meant to obey rules and follow guidelines. If a patient does not want to take the medicine on time, do the regular exercise prescribed by the doctor or continues to live unhealthy life style than there is nothing that robot could do. Therefore it is important the patience acceptance level to regard directions of robot equal to the directions of the doctor is required. This way only the deployment of the robots can become successful and useful for the patients.
The technology that is applied in making the robots carries chances of error. Therefore robots are prone to error which may lead to serious consequences. These consequences may include giving wrong medication to the patient, wrong input of directions or even battery low or virus attack or miscreant activity could lead to loss of health or even life of the patient due to machine. This way the machines are just followers and hence the chances of error are very high which could lead to a serious loss of health and life (Ofer, 2014).
The robots run on power therefore the need to recharge robots is always there. An old patient or mentally ill patient, who cannot take care of health and even move as per requirements, cannot take care of charging responsibilities of the robots. Therefore the robots are itself dependent on patient or their family for giving out desired returns. Thus it may act as an additional work for the family or patient to upgrade it with power and then only the benefits can be realized from them.
The availability of robots for medical facilitation is made only in developed countries where the availability of doctors, nurses and other medical assistances is higher as compared to the rest of the world. Therefore the critics demonstrates the application of the robotics concept in medication adhere in developing and under developed nations. They are of the view that these nations are really in need of the robotic assistance. This is so because the education level and number of medical assistance in these countries is so low that the death and widespread of disease has become a common phenomenon in these countries. Therefore the development of robotics for under developed nations should be made so that the needy can be supported by the medical aid offered by Robots (Takacs & Hanak, 2008).
In conclusion, the use of robots in medical field requires proper care and attention so that the required benefit is achieved and the chances of fault or mistakes declines by manifolds. The present day hectic life of the human beings especially in the developed countries and fast moving cities, the psychological problems has also increased by manifolds. However the potential of robotics in dealing with the psychological problems has also been identified. It has been found out that the robots can act as a partner who shares life with especially those people who feel alone. They can move along and even give a human touch in talking and responding on various suffering and day to day activities of the people. This way robots could become a partner everyone can trust on in this world where the issues of loss of faith, rise in tension due to financial loss affects the minds of the people (Gonzales & Riek, 2012).
The efforts are required to be made by the psychologist to work with the Robotics technology so that the efforts could be made to avoid mental impairment in the people due to the rising stress level in life. Thus the self management of the human beings through effective medication support is possible. That is the networked robots offers the patients with the preset desired set of directions and guidelines through networking application. These robots therefore respond to the patients respective of the particular requirements given for them. They not only record the activities and direct to the patient but also maintain records of the daily activities that have been performed by the patient. This way the doctor related is given consistent reporting about the methods and guidelines followed by the patient. Thus the doctor remains in contact with each patient’s health through the networking guided robots.
A number of recommendations can be given for improving the impact of robotics in medical field.
- The robots should be designed to offer safe and error free outcomes.
- The robots should be made for the support of medical adherence in developing and underdeveloped nations as well.
- The robots should be upgraded regular to accomplish the target outcome of effective medical facilitation.
- The robots should help in offering quality assistance to the patient.
- Networking should be made efficiently to maintain consistent contact with the doctors.
- The power back up and extra time output facility should be placed in robots.
This way the robots have therefore taken the place of a close assistant who would remain physically present with the patient. They keep records of the daily intake of medicine, medical health of the patient and report timely to the related doctor or surgeon. Not only that they keep the patient guiding at various times about the time to take medicine, follow instructions of doctor and even suggest exercises as opted by doctor. The result outcome is improved and enhanced communication between the doctor and patient. Also many patients are handled at one time by one doctor. Also the patients are saved from the incremental burden of health care on self or family members through the deployment of robots at every home (Broadbent et al., 2014).