Some people think that the coming revolution in robots threatens only the jobs of people who are unskilled. Not so. Researchers have already developed robots that come pretty close to doing the same job done by anesthesiologists. In fact, the robot promises to be better and safer than the anesthesiologist, because the robot is not subject to human error.
This new device, [iControl-RP] being tested by University of British Columbia researchers, monitors a patient’s brain wave activity along with traditional health markers, such as blood oxygen levels, to determine how much anesthesia to deliver.
“We are convinced the machine can do better than human anesthesiologists,” said Mark Ansermino, one of the machine’s co-developers, who works as director of pediatric anesthesia research at the university’s medical school in Vancouver.
The iControl-RP has been used to induce deep sedation in adults and children undergoing general surgery. Researchers say the device has been used on 250 patients so far. These patients were totally knocked out. Some had liver resections and major spinal operations.
Below is a video report about a different device already being used in limited circumstances (basically just colonoscopies).
Anesthesiologists spend more years in school than almost anyone, and earn an average of $270,000 per year.
Cutting out highly-paid anesthesiologists sounds like a good way to reduce health care costs.