Robotics in Healthcare?

First, watch this “test-bed” from Ericcson and Hitachi around implementation of 5G in an industrial environment:

They do look cool

Robotics in medicine remains the fringe case scenario; I have read about Japanese experimenting with them because of their ageing population and negative population growth rate (which is not enough to replace it). It’s creating a different set of issues – I am not exploring those here. Yet, if you watch this demo video, the complexity of management of diverse robots (and the human interface) becomes immediately apparent.

It is true it will need incremental investments to establish, test and certify these systems to any degree in the healthcare ecosystem. One use case scenario could well be pharmacy dispensation or movement of hazardous bio-waste. Even in this demo, it is apparent that it will definitely impact “low-end skilled jobs”, but robotics for waste elimination and using “computer-vision” to sort out trash will be overkill. Robotic management through 5G is an overkill and requires software to underpin these robots to work, and in case of a breakdown, if any, can grind operations. Hence, it will require considerable expenses to determine their use case, run them continuously, and define associated cost structures to “upgrade” hardware and software.

Let’s wait for actual implementation.

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