robotics in medicineRobotics is moving into the medical sphere in a big way. Beyond surgery, robotic devices are going be developed to aid in many medical tasks and procedures. This story from MedGadget is about a robotic device developed at the Fraunhofer Institute that makes positioning for a needle biopsy much easier, accurate and efficient.

I can envision how robotic technologies could be adapted to help with difficult catheterizations, intubation, and other procedures that now require a lot of training, skill and practice.

Much of the viability of using robotics in medicine is due to the advances that have been made in imaging technology. Accurate robotic positioning is dependent on obtaining precise coordinate data. Advancement in current imaging technologies like CT and ultrasound have made them capable as inputs for robotic systems. Coupled with sophisticated computer algorithms, sensed visual data can be enhanced to provide remarkable increases in resolution and definition.

Robotics in medicine is in its infancy. There is a lot of opportunity for medical device designers to have a big impact in the field.