Robotic Future of Hospitals; Pandemic Prevention and Bio-Terrorist Attack
There is a huge concern in the medical industry that if a biological weapon were released that those sick might come to the hospitals in such large numbers that before you realized an attack had occurred everyone in every nearby hospital would also be infected. Then of course the hospital itself would be rendered useless and all those already in the hospital no matter what the reason would literally condemned. The biggest issue with this is that those places we have available to help our populations stay well would be immediately and totally useless. For some background on the World Think Tank discussion and on-going subject of bio-terrorism control and isolation, please see this page:
One of our Think Tank Members considering this and having worked in the medical field almost three decades and understanding the very fast moving technologies and innovation in robotics had contemplated the use of robotics in the event of a bio-terrorist act. Today modern hospitals have all kinds of robotic type technologies and are very leading edge with their devices. These state of the art devices make hospital robotics even more possible. Swift in Montana writes in this solution during our online discussion of robotic advances:
"One of the best places for them to work would be in hospitals that have infectious disease floors where communicable diseases are treated. They would be able to administer medications, check on the vitals of the patients, IV flow rates etc. without anyone risking their own health. Should there be a flu pandemic this would really help to keep the numbers down as would having robots to keep the area sterilized and as germ free as possible. Sensors could be built into them to determine when there was a certain level of particulates in the air for those with contagious lung issues and a robot could move around and clean the viruses from the air."
When further discussion of tele-robotics came up as one of the incredible advances of robotics in medicine and what that technology has meant for NASA applications in repairs of Hubble Telescope, Satellites, ISS or pre-flighting the Shuttle for safe return it was determined that such technology could also be used in hospitals for outbreaks when operations and surgery were to be done. Since no person would risk infection, while we learned what the problem was and how to cope with it. For instance a bio-situation or bio-terrorist attack in the middle east somewhere could be diagnosed, isolated and prevented from spreading while our CDC here and other scientists around the world tuned into the procedure, thus using the brains of many to solve the now isolated bio threat from afar. Swift from Montana further discusses other possible issues with bio-terrorism, namely that if the bio-terrorist see that their attack is not working they might seek to do further acts of International Terror and has these comments to offer:
"Perhaps the issue of doing surgery in another country would not mean that the physician would actually have to travel there. He could operate the controls, while a staff from that country assisted in the procedure thus eliminating the possibility of being kidnapped or tortured for humanitarian efforts. Maybe the residents of the country would look at what they were doing if the only entities that would come anywhere near them were machines. If a machine was captured, it could blow everyone up and eliminate several problems at one time. Robots would certain be effective in teaching people many skills that they might not have the opportunity to learn. The most successful programs in Third World Countries have always been those that teach the citizens how to do something that will take care of their own-'the teach a person to fish principle'. The most basic surgeries could easily be handled in sterile, relatively primitive situations. Medications to control infection and pain would be all that was needed afterwards. Lasers could be built in so that scalpels would not always need to be used. Thus keltoid scars that often don't heal well on darker skins could be minimized."
Computer modeling shows that if you can quickly diagnose and then isolate a situation such as an outbreak in those first crucial hours, then what could have turned into a pandemic turns into a controllable and conquerable problem.