Are medical robotics useful in elderly care?
The percentage of people characterized by old age is definitely high in the society. The advancements in technology in terms of robotics are also really high. This can only mean that it is highly likely for robotics to be introduced to elderly care and at a higher level. It can be quite a debate as to whether medical robotics are useful in elderly care because there are both advantages and disadvantages to them. We are transitioning from the use of hearing aids to the use of hearing robots. Are we ready for this technology? Let us expound on this to see if medical robotics are useful in elderly care.
1. Cannot substitute humans
With the numerous advancements in technology, medical robotics being introduced to caring for the elderly can be a good thing but what bothers me more is that they can never replace or substitute the kind of care that a human being can give to an elderly person. Most of the elderly people in care homes find these machines intriguing because they keep them company and can perform most function but like any other piece of technology, their capabilities cannot go beyond those of a human being.
2. No real support
A medical robot cannot offer any real help in terms of medicine. They also cannot offer physical support. The idea of medical robotics to care for the elderly seemed attractive because the primary concern was giving company to the elderly. It is however unlikely that an elderly person will physically benefit from the care of a robot. Most people become attached to physical things like phones or cars and the elderly do get attached to these robots because of their emotional needs but this highly disregards their physical needs.
It is quite sad that we can have this conversation in this time and age because if you look it from an ethical point of view you will find that it is a dystopian way of handling things. A robot does not have feelings or emotions. What the elderly need are people who can understand their personal needs and this is something that robots do not have the capacity to do. Artificial help is not necessarily the kind of help needed.
4. Their applications
There is some positive side towards having medical robotics in elderly care. The good thing about the artificial support is that the health and safety of the elderly is always monitored. The elderly are also never left alone. Robotics in health care for the elderly can be introduced but clear cut guidelines will have to be there for that to work. More opportunities for the elderly could be created in terms of socialization and the level of dependence on human beings could be greatly reduced. This however needs to be approached with extreme caution.