Robot Nurses Will Make Shortages Obsolete
[DailyBeast] For years, the U.S. has experienced a shortage of registered nurses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that while the number of nurses will increase by 19 percent by 2022, demand will grow faster than the supply, and that there will be over one million unfilled nursing jobs by then.
Those aged 65 or over comprise a bigger percentage of the U.S. population than ever, and by 2030, 20 percent of the U.S. population, or roughly 69 million people, will be senior citizens. While enrollment at nursing schools is up, these programs aren’t big enough to accept the number of applicants required to fill these positions.
So what’s the solution?
Japan is ahead of the curve when it comes to this trend, given that its elderly population is the highest of any country. Toyohashi University of Technology has developed Terapio, a robotic medical cart that can make hospital rounds, deliver medications and other items, and retrieve records. It follows a specific individual, such as a doctor or nurse, who can use it to record and access patient data. Terapio isn’t humanoid, but it does have expressive eyes that change shape and make it seem responsive. This type of robot will likely be one of the first to be implemented in hospitals because it has fairly minimal patient contact, works with staff, and has a benign appearance.
Posted by: Skidmark 2020-02-16