There will be a Gateway Event this Friday March 16th from 2-4pm at the Informatics Forum room 4.31/4.33. The speaker, Kathrin Cresswell, will be accompanied by two of her colleagues, Hajar Mozaffar and Aziz Sheikh. They will be available for a discussion after the presentation.
Healthcare robotics – a qualitative exploration of key challenges and future directions"
Dr. Kathrin Cresswell
Chief Scientist Office Chancellor’s Fellow, Director of Innovation
Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics
University of Edinburgh
Objective: To understand the emerging role of robotics in healthcare and identify existing and likely future challenges to maximizing the benefits associated with robotics and related convergent technologies.
Materials and Methods: We conducted qualitative semi-structured in-depth one-to-one interviews exploring the role of robotic applications in healthcare contexts. Using purposive sampling, we identified a diverse range of stakeholders who were involved in conceiving, procuring, developing and/or using robotics in a range of national and international healthcare settings. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically with the help of NVivo 10 software. Theoretically, this work was informed by the sociotechnical perspective, which helped to explore deployment of technologies within their social contexts.
Results: We conducted 21 interviews and found that there are significant opportunities of improving the safety, quality and efficiency of healthcare through robotics, but four major barriers need to be effectively negotiated to realize these: 1) no clear pull from professionals and patients; 2) the appearance of robots and associated expectations and concerns; 3) disruption of the way work is organized/distributed; and 4) new ethical and legal challenges requiring flexible liability/ethical frameworks.
Conclusion: Sociotechnical challenges associated with the effective integration of robotic applications in healthcare settings are likely to be significant, particularly for patient facing functions.