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Robot Nurse: Potentialities and Features

Discuss a robot that can perform physical activities, make decisions and provide emotional support equivalent to that of a human nurse.

World Economic Forum has given an estimation that by 2020, through the world a total of 5 million people will lose their jobs due to the automation of various fields, advancements in the field of genetics, introduction of robots into various sectors, artificial intelligence and the other technological advancements. The predictions also involve that 7 million jobs will be lost among which 2 million jibs will be created in the technological field. These predictions are basically focussed on the developed nations and the emerging economies. Due to the global ageing population, a large number of people are relying on the health care services. Thus, to cope up with such high demands Robot Nurse can be an alternative (Erikson and Salzmann-Erikson 2016). This study focuses on the potentialities of robot nurse, and the various social, ethical, legal aspects as well as the risks associated with it.

A technological marvel which is used for this report is a Robot Nurse which is to some extent has some humanoid characteristics like providing emotional support, can make autonomous decisions, and perform physical activities. Robot nurses have an integrated artificial intelligence that can understand the emotions and facial expressions of the patient. It has camera (equipped with infrared) that can recognizes face, microphone that can recognise the voice, can communicate with the patients through the speaker, also programmed to communicate in different languages. The Robot Nurse is strong enough to assist in moving patient from one place to another. These robots can talk with the patients who do not have visitors. The nursing robot are designed for the bed ridden patients by performing simple functions like operating electrical equipment, assisting patients by bringing stuff according to their request. The robot nurse is also capable of holding the weigh of the patients. This robot will aid the hospitals that will assist the nurses who are incapable to move the bedridden patients from ward to another (Erikson and Salzmann-Erikson 2016). A robot nurse will be able to make complex and complicated decisions regarding the health conditions and will be able to provide advice relating to the heal condition. Thus, robot nurse will have an ethical decision-making system that will be able to assess the condition of the patient and provide the solutions ethically. This robot can be programmed to remind the patients to take their medicine, at the same time the robot will have advanced intelligence to understand all the probable reason that a patient can give in order to avoid taking medicine. The robot nurse will also possess the capability to understand that not taking medicine is also not an option for the patient. If a patient falls ill after taking the medicine, the robot nurse must not force to carry on with the medication. Because this might be violative and can create complications later on. If the medical condition deteriorates then the autonomous decision-making capability of the robot nurse will be able to inform the doctors about the condition. The limitation of the nursing robot is that it will not be doing any kind of medical treatment to the patient. The workplace of such a robot can be confined in one room, like in hospital or in the room of a patient (Schweikard and Ernst 2015).

Impact on Job Market

It is already mentioned at the starting of the report that the introduction of robot nurse can effectively take over million of jobs and can render the nurses jobless. However, this is always not the case. First of all, the ones that will be befitted from such a technological marvel is of course the patients and the companies that will be selling the robot nurses. However, in the manufacture of the robot nurse there are a lot of different kinds of person and their expertise is utilized to give perfect look and finish to the robot nurse. Robotics is a vast field with a complex algorithm that goes in to its movement and smart analysis of its environment. Robots that are not autonomous are rather controlled by the humans and are not that complex to make. However, autonomous robots require an algorithm to run efficiently and at the same time require complex engineering to make it function all the time. One such way is the providing autonomy is through integrating a machine learning or an artificial intelligence in to the system. Artificial intelligence infuses a brain into a non-living piece of electronics (Nilsson 2014). This makes the system capable of both thinking rationally and responding rationally. Thus, the stakeholder in this particular section are the robotic engineers, programming experts that can make excellent codes for the artificial intelligence to function properly. The second stakeholders are the equipment and electronic manufacturers. Because to make a functional robot, a lot of electronic and mechanical parts are required to function as a system. The third stakeholders are the marketing companies that will specifically target the sellers, and service users for selling and distribution of the products. The list of service users can be both big and small depending on the cost of the robots. These autonomous robot nurses can both be sold and rented if their prices are out of the reach of the common buyers. The prime stakeholders are the hospitals that will generally employ these robot nurses in to the wards where human nurses will be unable to monitor. The last stakeholder are the patients that needs the home-based care. For the purpose of home-based care, these robots can be rented for a specific time period (Fine 2012).

The next question comes is the people who can get negatively affected due to the introduction of such products in to the market. These are none other than the nurses that are used for providing the primary care to the patients. The other hospital staff that assist the patients in their daily courses can lose their jobs (Mesquita, Zamarioli and de Carvalho 2016).

Stakeholders

For any launch of innovative product in a competitive market requires to be technology to be patented, logo must be trademarked, and the product name must be copyrighted. Designing a robot nurse with the capabilities discussed in the product description section requires will require a lot of effort from an expert team. A lot of fund will move into the research and development to build the first prototype, and to give a final touch to the product. The whole process might cost millions for the company that will eventually move to the produce it commercially. Thus, the design and the artificial intelligence used for the robot needs to be patented according to the patent law of Australia. The field is new and different opportunistic companies will definitely try to grab the innovative idea of making alternatives of the product. It is often seen that once a revolutionary product is launched in a market, the name of the product line gains an iconic image, acclamation and fame. Such names are often imitated by the rival companies to launch products that imitate the function of the first launched product. According to the patent law of Australia, only three category can apply for patent, the investor, the people who have the rights of the invention and the company, within which, the invention took place (Australian Government IP Australia 2016). Therefore, patent for such nursing robot should be applied prior their utilization, to prevent such issues from happening, the parent company must copyright the name of the product line (May 2013).

Advantages & disadvantages- the various advantages of the patenting a new product is that it can effectively prevent the rival companies from copying the idea and the design a launch a similar product in to the market. However, this also has a negative effect on the positive effect on the usability of the product. If the organization, having the copyright of the innovative product, is not being able to utilize it properly and some other company, possess the skills and ideas that can use the product correctly, then it is the drawback of the patent process (Holgersson 2013). It is often seen that different companies try to launch similar kinds of products with a cheaper price tag that make it accessible to the mass. Whereas, patenting a product will prevent any such scope and will reduce its usability. The second issues are copyrighting the product name. Product at their initial launch if brings revolution, becomes iconic and people recognise similar kinds of products with its first or the initial name. copyrighting the name although prevent other companies from using the same design and name. however, the major drawback is that, cheaper version with other kinds of name do not gain market share easily. This also reduces the usability and reach of the product to the mass (Ramasamy 2014).

Patenting and Copyright

Nurses sometimes due to work exhaustion loses their working ability and thus often make mistake in giving medication to the patients. Often moving a bed ridden patient a lot of effort to move from one site to another. Robot nurses are perfect examples that perform all these activities with ease. The advanced artificial system can communicate and analyse the emotions of the patient and take measures to solve the issues. On the other hand, these robot nurses are strong enough to carry a patient from one place to another (Yukawa et al. 2012). Thus, reducing the need of labor to perform these tasks. The next benefit of the hospitals is that they do not have to now employ a big number of nurses to perform some trivial task, one robot nurse can effectively substitute 3 to 4 nurses. Robot nurses can also monitor the patients that need 24/7 care, which otherwise if monitored by a nurse can bring with it a certain amount of human error and information overload while performing a task. Sometimes it can quite awkward if a nurse monitors a patient all the time, however replacing it with can effectively reduce the issues of privacy among the patients. There are also ethical and the social benefits that can be accrued by the hospital authorities. It is often seen that communication gap between the nurses and the patient often increases the time period of care delivery to the patients. Such cultural and social issues can be effectively reduced by employing the robot nurses because these robots can be programmed to understand different languages. Nurses under certain circumstances, due to ineffective communication often violate to act ethically. Such ethical violations can be negated with the usage of robotic nurses, because these robotic nurses come with the advanced artificial intelligence that can be infused with the ethical understanding of the situation. This will help the robot to act ethically under all the circumstances, thus reducing any unethical act (Stahl and Coeckelbergh 2016).

The introduction of the robot nurse in to market can potentially affect the job of the nurses in several big hospitals. The big hospitals possess the funds to buy such costly artificial intelligence integrated robot nurse. The smaller hospital might employ 1 or 2 robot nurses, whereas the big hospitals might go for a whole set of robots which on the long run can be beneficial for the bigger hospital. Although this is one aspect of drawback, the other drawback can be from the patient’s perspectives. Patients might for the first time may be intimidated by notion of the bigger size of the robot and the weird way they might behave. It is obvious for a patient to connect emotionally to a human nurse, whereas connecting with a robot nurse with an artificial emotion might prevent a big group of patients to reject such an innovation. The gap between a human and a robotic care is big enough to fill (Sharkey and Sharkey 2012). Further, another risk will be for the hospital helping staff, as they will be fired, as the robot nurse will be able to do their tasks without any fault. Therefore, thousands of across the country will be losing their jobs and finally the GDP or the state economy will suffer from consequences (Sauer and Zilberman 2012).

Advantages and Disadvantages

Although there are drawbacks in the innovation, however this can be effectively negated if dealt with a definite strategy. It has been already mentioned in the drawback section that patient might at the first glance might reject the         innovation. However, sample studies can be conducted within small groups. The groups might contain the control group with care provided by the nurses and the experimental group with a group of robot nurse providing the nursing care. The data is bound to reflect positive data which can be marketed for the purpose of depicting a positive image of the robot nurses. Given the time to acclimatize with the robot nurse, any patient can develop a sense of faith and believe, that robot nurses are quite capable of replacing or substituting the human nurses (Kim, Park and Sundar 2013). Robots do not get exhausted and do not complain about the employee rights. The hospital can save a lot of money from employing the robot nurses as their main workforce. These robots don not require a huge maintenance and at the same time will minimize any errors that frequently arises when human nurses try to monitor patients. These robots can work 24/7 with stopping and can effectively help in dealing with the critical cases that demand careful monitoring of the patient’s health parameters. Other benefits related to the robot nurses are that often situation arises when a bed ridden patient needs to be shifted to a different ward due to emergency or other difficulty. To shift such a patient, a group of 4 to 5 people is required and along with a well-coordinated movement is necessary to reduce any mishap. Whereas, if a robot nurse is used on such occasions, 4 to 5 will not be needed and the robot can perform the task seamlessly (Diehl et al. 2012). Thus, after a thorough analysis it can be said that this product can bring a revolution to the healthcare industry and investing into manufacture of such a product can yield millions of profits for the company.

Conclusion

Therefore, from the above discussion it can be concluded that the Robot Nurse is a good alternative and an able substitute for the nurses that provide the primary healthcare to the patients. Although this may result in several nurses and clinical staffs to lose their job. However, on the long run the industry can bring in the programmers, robotics engineers and as well as the designers in to this field. This technological innovation can bring in profit for the companies that would be investing in to this promising and revolutionary product.

References

Australian Government IP Australia (2016). Patent basics | IP Australia. [online] Ipaustralia.gov.au. Available at: https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/patents/understanding-patents/patent-basics

Diehl, J.J., Schmitt, L.M., Villano, M. and Crowell, C.R., 2012. The clinical use of robots for individuals with autism spectrum disorders: A critical review. Research in autism spectrum disorders, 6(1), pp.249-262.

Erikson, H. and Salzmann-Erikson, M., 2016. Future Challenges of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence in Nursing: What Can We Learn from Monsters in Popular Culture?. The Permanente Journal, 20(3).

Fine, M.D., 2012. Employment and informal care: Sustaining paid work and caregiving in community and home-based care. Ageing International, 37(1), pp.57-68.

Holgersson, M., 2013. Patent management in entrepreneurial SMEs: a literature review and an empirical study of innovation appropriation, patent propensity, and motives. R&D Management, 43(1), pp.21-36.

Kim, K.J., Park, E. and Sundar, S.S., 2013. Caregiving role in human–robot interaction: A study of the mediating effects of perceived benefit and social presence. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), pp.1799-1806.

May, C., 2013. The global political economy of intellectual property rights: The new enclosures? (Vol. 3). Routledge.

Mesquita, A.C., Zamarioli, C.M. and de Carvalho, E.C., 2016. The use of robots in nursing care practices: an exploratory-descriptive study. Online Brazilian Journal of Nursing, 15(3), pp.404-413.

Nilsson, N.J., 2014. Principles of artificial intelligence, 1st Edn, pp. 123-134, Morgan Kaufmann.

Ramasamy, V., 2014. Intellectual Property Rights. Library Information, Information Science, Information Society, 91, p.28.

Sauer, J. and Zilberman, D., 2012. Sequential technology implementation, network externalities, and risk: the case of automatic milking systems. Agricultural Economics, 43(3), pp.233-252.

Schweikard, A. and Ernst, F., 2015. Medical robotics, 1st Edn, pp. 1-27, Springer.

Sharkey, A. and Sharkey, N., 2012. Granny and the robots: ethical issues in robot care for the elderly. Ethics and information technology, 14(1), pp.27-40.

Stahl, B.C. and Coeckelbergh, M., 2016. Ethics of healthcare robotics: Towards responsible research and innovation. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 86, pp.152-161.

Yukawa, T., Kuramochi, Y., Takahashi, T. and Takahashi, K., 2012. Nursing-care system for bedridden patients with electric wheelchair, lift, portable bath, mobile robot and portable toilet. International Journal of Engineering and Innovative Technology (IJEIT), 2(5).

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My Assignment Help. (2019). Robot Nurse: Potentialities, Social, Ethical, And Legal Aspects, And Risks. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/use-of-robots-in-nursing-care-practices.

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My Assignment Help (2019) Robot Nurse: Potentialities, Social, Ethical, And Legal Aspects, And Risks [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/use-of-robots-in-nursing-care-practices
[Accessed 16 June 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Robot Nurse: Potentialities, Social, Ethical, And Legal Aspects, And Risks' (My Assignment Help, 2019) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/use-of-robots-in-nursing-care-practices> accessed 16 June 2024.

My Assignment Help. Robot Nurse: Potentialities, Social, Ethical, And Legal Aspects, And Risks [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2019 [cited 16 June 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/use-of-robots-in-nursing-care-practices.

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