Is the Future of Robotic Healthcare Upon Us?

The healthcare industry is continuously trying to improve its methods in order to make them more effective, accurate and reliable for those it is treating. So, in our increasingly technological world, it only makes sense that truly revolutionary innovations will find their way into our surgical rooms. For many years, the concept of robotic surgery tools has been discussed within the healthcare industry, however it has recently grown from a seemingly distant concept to an exciting reality.

Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital has launched the country’s first robotic surgery training centre, where it plans to train an estimated 400 surgeons per year using top of the range technology. The goal of their Surgery and Robotics Training Institute is to teach surgical professionals how to perform less invasive procedures using remote-controlled robotic arms. This technology can perform a range of complex procedures with unparalleled accuracy, reducing the risks that naturally come along with surgery.

While the use of these machines in Australia is not new – they have been used for mitral valve surgeries and prostatectomies for many years ­ until now surgeons were forced to travel to the U.S to undergo training and develop the required skills. Naturally, this hindered the development of implementing such a beneficial technology throughout the country. Since hospitals were forced to spend so much money and resources training their staff, the cost of undergoing a robotic surgery was very high. Now, with the opening of the new RPA centre, the cost is predicted to be driven down as the training will be more accessible to medical professionals throughout the country.

As with most innovative technology, it’s difficult to predict when robotic surgery will become the norm in hospitals throughout Australia. The robot used to train surgeons in the RPA institute is estimated to cost around $4 million, however there will be a symposium in late June to discuss further details about this innovative use of technology.

Regardless of when robotic arms become the norm in surgical rooms, one thing is for sure; when technological innovation and healthcare intersect, it produces truly amazing results.

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