Robotics

AI and other emerging technologies are soon to turn traditional nurses into information integrators. But nurses should be assured that technology will support their profession, not replace it.

A robotic animal companion has been making the rounds at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where a pediatric patient in intensive care is recovering from multiple organ transplants.

An attentive mechanical walking aid developed at Columbia University can help correct the gait of people who are unsure on their feet due to motor-skills challenges. In the process, the cane-like device may also reduce the risk of falls.

Physicians fed up with all the time they have to spend staring at a computer screen—even when the patient is sitting right there—may find relief in the form of a talking digital assistant.

Scientists at the University of Houston have developed a wearable device that can gather and transmit enough biometric information to go unnoticed by human wearers and could give robots a virtual sense of touch.

Combining ultrasensitive motion detectors with thermal sound-emitting technology, scientists in China have come up with an “artificial throat” that could enable speech in people with damaged or nonfunctioning vocal cords.  

Mental-health professionals training to provide talk therapy can sharpen their clinical listening skills by practicing in chatbot sessions with neural conversational agents.

The UK’s National Health Service announced Wednesday that it’s partnering with Amazon on AI. The plan is to offer NHS-approved health advice to every Brit who speaks a health-related query into an Alexa-enabled device.

Assistive robots used in medical settings could inspire caregivers—familial as well as professional—to treat patients more empathetically and patiently, potentially improving outcomes.

While AI and robotics won’t be replacing physicians any time soon, emerging applications surely will lift efficiency for human practitioners of the healing arts and sciences. 

Facebook researchers are working to see how well and how quickly robots can teach themselves to walk, feel their way around tricky spaces and otherwise try new robot-y things through AI-driven trial and error.

There’s probably a lot of overlap between computer “power users” and individuals who are comfortable with machines replacing humans in the workplace.