Sunday, April 3, 2016

Robot anesthesiologist banned, maybe just for a while

IT and robots are so common that we always rely on them. And medical practice is not an exception to it. Medical records have been digitized in many hospitals. Computer tomography is an essential tool in medical diagnosis, and several machines with more progressive technologies have been well. Remote-controlled surgery comes into practice in some departments.

Nonetheless, automated surgery has not been performed. And anesthesia robots were dismissed from the field of surgery.

Indeed, Johnson & Johnson developed an anesthesia robot called Sedasys. The FDA approved it for clinical practice. It could administer several protocols of anesthesia with watching the vital signs of the patient. However, professional anesthesiologists strongly opposed to utilizing it. Finally, J & J abandoned to sell Sedasys.

Engadget: J&J's anesthesia-bot loses against its human counterparts

MDT: Plug Pulled on Johnson & Johnson's Anesthesiologist Robot

According to American Society of Anesthesiologists, Sedasys could not ensure the safety of the patients during surgery so that anesthesiologists always had to supervise its move. I cannot examine their claim. Indeed, it would result in a fatal accident when a medical robot takes a mistake. On the other hand, human errors are also not avoidable. It is difficult to determine which is a better player on some occasion. This structure of resembles the issue of self-driving cars.

I think, however, that improved algorithm and repeated experiments will overcome the uncertainty of the robot operation. Just a few decades ago, there were no AED, injection pump, or ventilator. Shortly, a robot can take a surgery by itself, at least in simple cases.

Then, not only anesthesiologists but also surgeons and other medical practitioners will lose their job. It is not a dream like I wrote in an April Fool. Even medical practitioners have to compete for AI and modern technology.

My past entry: Google Psychiatrist launched: loosing my job

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