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Will Robots Ever Be Able to Perform Surgery Independently? Print E-mail
Written by Skeptical Scalpel via KevinMD   
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 12:43

And if they can, should they?

In a recent post, I wrote about some unresolved issues with driverless cars and ended by saying "So are you ready to have an autonomous robot perform your gallbladder surgery? I'm not."

But the robots are coming. A recent paper in Science Robotics proposed six different levels of autonomy for surgical robots.

The authors say some devices are already at level 3. A surgeon can tell a robot to put in a row of sutures, and the robot will do so without hands-on control by the surgeon.

Major issues - cyber security, privacy, risk of malfunction resulting in harm to the patient - arise as the robots approach complete autonomy. The cost of satisfying FDA regulations escalates as the robots take on more high-risk activities. For such a device, the cost of premarket approval approaches $100 million and takes 4 1/2 years to accomplish.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 April 2017 12:44

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