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Will Automation Technology Eliminate Medical Malpractice?

Americans are fortunate to be living in a time of unparalleled medical and technical advancement. One need only take a quick look around to see evidence of technological improvements designed to assist daily living and to improve society as a whole.

For example, with the adoption of electric automobiles and green technology, it is hoped that the world can reduce its dependence on oil and positively affect the environment. The internet, cloud computing, and advanced satellite technology allow information to be shared worldwide, which can improve lives all around the world.

There are also technologies designed to replace or assist humans. By now, most people have some familiarity with the concept of artificial intelligence and how it is designed to make decisions at a rate that the human mind can barely comprehend. Robots have similarly become much more commonplace. At a basic level, they can vacuum our floors. At a higher level, they help build cars, ships, and perform surgeries, which brings up an interesting question. Can the use of robots and other technologies eliminate medical malpractice that is sometimes committed by humans? We will discuss that issue in this blog post.

How is automation used in the practice of medicine?

Brainlab, a medical technology journal, reports that robots started helping in the operating room more than 30 years ago. Since that time, robots have become more capable and more widely used in certain surgical procedures. Robotics usage can also be seen in radiotherapy, rehabilitation, and in laboratories.

Intel, which works with technology companies in this field, cites a number of ways that robotics can assist medical care providers, including the following:

  • Precise surgical assistance: Robots can be extremely precise. They can assist surgeons in holding items perfectly still. Additionally, they do not get tired like humans. They can also perform surgical functions through very small surgical sites.
  • Keeping workers safe in dangerous work environments: Autonomous mobile robots can transport supplies and other items in areas where dangerous pathogens are present. A perfect example is using a robot to carry towels or medicines through a hospital area where pathogen exposure is a risk.

Does automation reduce medical malpractice?

According to the Mayo Clinic, surgeons using robotic assistance believe that it provides improved flexibility, precision, and control. Robots enhance the ability to perform minimally invasive surgeries. In turn, there are generally fewer complications.

It is important to understand that even when robotic assistance is used, it is normally combined with the efforts of a human surgeon. And any time humans are involved, mistakes can occur.

Medical malpractice in Oregon

In Oregon, doctors and other medical care providers are required to meet their applicable standards of care. If they are negligent and cause harm, the injured patient is entitled to recover damages. Investigating medical malpractice can be complicated and expensive because a high degree of specialization is required. Moreover, if robots are involved, there may be questions concerning the programming of the robot, whether it functioned properly, and whether any issues of product liability exist. If you have been injured, it is imperative that you speak with a legal professional about your rights.

Call with questions

If you have been injured as a result of a surgery or another medical procedure, you are likely to have questions about your rights. The experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield are here to answer them all. Please contact us for a free consultation. We believe that the best way to keep the citizens of Oregon safe is to hold professionals accountable for the harm their negligence causes. We can help you investigate your case, and if you need legal representation, we will be here to fight for you.