Doctors Fear Of Losing Their Jobs After Robot Performs A Successful Surgery With Almost No Human Help
Doctors might wonder if those seven years in medical school were well spent, after a robot successfully operated on a pig.
The robot gave over 86 stitches to four different pigs. He would have been able to do this independently without any human assistance two-thirds of the time, while doctors were on hand to guide him at other times.
Moreover, the results were about as good as those obtained by human surgeons one week after the procedure.
The scientists behind the trial surgery believe we are now on track for fully autonomous robotic surgery within the next two decades.
The robot was able to give 86 stitches to four pigs.
The Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) performed a complex surgery where it had to connect two ends of pigs’ intestines together.
This is a very complex procedure for surgeons and can be very dangerous, especially if the human surgeon’s hands are shaking slightly or they place a stitch in the wrong place.
The advantage of using a robot is that their hands don’t shake and they can perform very precise repetitive motions with a combination of AI and robotics tools.
The robot was able to perform surgery on pigs unassisted for two-thirds of the time.
“The Star performed the procedure on four animals and it produced significantly better results than humans performing the same procedure,” said Dr. Krieger, a scientist involved in the project.
While robotic surgeries like this still require human supervision, they could one day reduce pressure on NHS doctors and surgeons as fewer staff are needed to perform delicate operations and procedures.
Scientists have also experimented with remote-controlled surgical robots. With the birth of 5G, this would allow surgeons to perform surgeries on patients thousands of miles away around the world.
This was tested in early 2014 when Dr. Mehran Anvari used a surgical robot to perform operations on people 250 miles away using only the internet.