Article By: Candice Hodges
Photograph By: Ramya Srinivasan
As the population of the Earth continues to increase, the need for health care does as well. However, there are only so many doctors in the world to address these health care needs. Naturally, because these doctors can only be in one place at a time, the remote towns of the world have been pushed aside and are in constant deficiency of adequate medical care. But now, the invention of “Robot Doctors” can overcome the obstacle of location barriers.
John Wapham, a neurologist that is an expert in treating strokes, resides in downtown Chicago. Despite his resident location, he manages to treat patients around the world from the convenience of his apartment through the technology of telemedicine. Telemedicine operates on basic robots that are owned by hospitals and can be used by patients in need. These robots have a screen for the patient to see the doctor, a camera for the doctor to see the patient, and some wheels for the doctor to move around the patient. Although, at present, the doctor cannot physically touch the patient through the robot, more elaborate robots are in the making and will likely be a reality soon.
Although ‘Telemedicine’ has only been released recently, it has already saved many patients’ lives. In part, this is because the telemedicine robots are able to maneuver in calculated movements, and navigate through otherwise busy and chaotic hallways. In this way, the robot works with precision and speed, and can therefore be effectively utilized during emergency situations to diagnose patients, as well as order nurses on how to treat the patients as needed.
Robot doctors have yet to enter the Philippines, however the introduction of telemedicine would be greatly applicable to the nation. Currently, there are only a few major hospitals in the Philippines and doctors rarely move to remote areas in the province due to the tough living environments there. Therefore, in the future, having robot doctors in the provinces will allow for modern healthcare and medicine to be equally shared around the country, improving wellbeing levels and the overall standard of living in the Philippines.