Thursday, April 10, 2014

Technology in the medical field

I was looking at some of the ways that technology is changing in the medical fields and thought about how beneficial it could be for the possibility of androids to be involved in hospitals and other medical areas. Pretend for a second that the androids in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? didn't kill their human counterparts and lets just say that there could be some kind of insurance that was able to promise nothing bad would happen. There is so much potentially good ideas regarding robots and maybe in the future androids in the medical field. For example, there has been some talk about experiments of Paro robots in nursing homes. The purpose of the robot is to provide companionship to people in nursing homes who don't really have visitors. The robot has some sensors that react to touch and make it seem that its actually real providing nursing home residents with the companionship they desire.There are more positive outcomes of having Paro robots in nursing homes you can check out the article in the link below.
http://prospect.org/article/cuddly-robots-make-life-nursing-home-tolerable

Japan is looking to go beyond a cuddly friend and they are constantly improving their robots and advancing in this field. They currently have a robotic nurse that can lift up to 135 lbs from different positions (sitting and laying). The article is also very interesting because of the questions it asks in regards to the well-being of the robot. There are goals to create a more human-like robotic nurse. Obviously the robots aren't going to be tossed in a hospital and told to preform serious tasks, but there is talk that they will be used in hospitals as secretaries.
http://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/cs201/projects/2010-11/ComputersMakingDecisions/robotic-nurses/index.html

Perhaps with technological advances the android/robot will makes its presence in actual hospital procedures and rooms. I think that the idea is exciting, but since we do have to be realistic there are some concerns. A one time malfunction of one of these robots can prove to be fatal. Are doctors willing to gamble with this knowing that there is a chance that everything could go wrong and they could loose a life? But in defense this could be true for human doctors, there isn't always a guarantee that everything will work out.

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