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One current innovation in the field of nursing is the development of the Robear robot which used to be unveiled in 2015 by the RIKEN industries of Japan. It is the third generation of the “Robot for Interactive Body Assistance (RIBA).” The robotic is the first one that is capable of lifting up or laying down a patient on a bed. It is equipped with robust arms and tactile sensors besides being able to apprehend patient faces and voices. It has been lauded to have the capacity to revolutionize nursing care. (Olaronke, Iroju, et al.) The technology is really helpful since it helps in the nursing care especially of the elderly whereby it can switch a patient to a wheelchair and back onto the bed. It reduces the need for several nurses to carry the relatively heavy patients. Its ability for voice detection enables it to perform other functions as well. Besides the benefits, however, there are some disadvantages to its use. The robots are expensive hence their installation in hospitals would be costly. The use of the robots and their continued enhancement also poses a risk to human employment as nursing roles become automated. There are also collateral factors whereby they present an opportunity for research in automated patient care and assessment. Additionally, they also pose the risk of lessened quality of care due to the removal of the human aspect of care that can only be demonstrated by nurses.
Another innovation is the Indigo Clean bulb which emits light that kills bacteria thereby disinfecting the room in which it is installed. One advantage of the technology is that enables continuous disinfection, unlike the conventional methods where it is done periodically from time to time. The application of the technology would also lead to optimal utilization of hospital space since there would be no need to relocate patients for purposes of disinfection. However, the technology also bears some drawbacks such as having a higher financial cost for installation and operation. (Kehoe) Some of the collateral factors associated with the technology are that it could be combined with other forms of treatment that use light energy and radiation. It could also be disadvantageous due to the likelihood of the rays emitted to kill even the normal flora on the skin thereby altering the physiological balance necessary for health.
Additionally, the technology of 3D-Bioprinting is likely to have a huge impact on medical care. Through the technology, it has been possible to print human tissues and organs, providing various uses in the practice of medicine. The technology has many advantages such as the possibility of its use in the restitution of damaged body tissues and organs. Consequently, degenerative diseases such as liver cirrhosis could be cured. The drawbacks to the technology arise from the high financial cost necessary to carry it out. In addition to that, a high level of expertise is required for the integration of the technology in practice. A collateral advantage has been the use of the technology in the expansion of research. Tissues are bio printed to be used in research like the testing of drugs during their development. (Li, et al.)
Another innovation is the medical use of bioabsorbable stents instead of the usual metallic ones in treating coronary disease. The stents working mechanism is similar to that of the metallic stents whereby it mechanically supports the vessel as healing continues. The difference, however, is that the metallic stent remains in the body for life, but the newly developed absorbable stent is gradually resorbing by the body and is thus cleared ensuring that there is no permanent implant in the body. The stents are completely resorbed within two years of insertion a period over which vessel healing would be complete since it takes approximately three months. The "Food and Drug Authority FDA" approved the first bioabsorbable stent in 2016 causing much excitement in the medical field due to the stent's potential benefits. (Ramadugu and Latha Alicante)
The stents have numerous advantages to the patients. First, the disappearance of the stent eliminates the complications of late thrombosis caused by in-situ stents which are encountered in the use of metallic stents. Secondly, the dissolution of the stent leads to the restoration of the natural state of the blood vessel with normal physiological functions of vasodilation and vasoconstriction, processes which are otherwise affected by metallic stents. In addition to that, the complete elimination of the device makes conduction future intervention easier since there would be no foreign objects. (Ramadugu and Latha Alicante) Despite the many benefits, the use of the stents has several drawbacks. One limitation is the high cost of the stents which raises the cost of healthcare. Another limitation is that the stents are lesser stronger than metallic ones and are prone to recoil and subsequent impairment of function. Since their shelf-life is short, they may also require special storage further increasing the cost. The collateral factors associated with the stents are the risk of allergic reaction, infections at the site of insertion and failure of their function.
Another recent innovation was the selfie stick which gained use and much popularity from 2014. The stick has become popular as it facilitates the capture of self-portraits (selfies), a practice that has gained popularity with the advent of smartphones. Therefore, the selfie stick has had a huge impact on the social lives of many people as it is seen as s significant innovation in modern photography. There are numerous benefits associated with the use of selfie-sticks. The selfie-stick has virtually eliminated the need for requesting another person, often a stranger to take a group photograph since the photograph can easily be taken by attaching the phone on the selfie-stick and taking it personally. Additionally, it has facilitated the efficiency in obtaining the personal requirements and preferences for exact detail since the individual or the group can focus, or opt for their preferred angle themselves to their satisfaction. Such flexibility would otherwise not be possible. In addition to that, the selfie-stick has enhanced the safety of the phone while taking selfies since the phone is firmly attached on the stick unlike if maneuvering with the hand where the phone could fall accidentally and get damaged. (Vivienne) A major drawback for using selfie-sticks is the risk of physical harm. Using a selfie-stick in a crowded area could lead to injury if a user swings the stick and accidentally hits another person possibly causing injury. In addition to that, using the sticks could be risky in places such as museums where there could be an accidental knock-over of a pedestal or other piece of art or equipment causing damage. (Vivienne) While the stick is mainly known and used for taking photographs, it has also developed other unexpected uses such as their assistance when parking a vehicle.
Kehoe, Bob. "Light from Above Kills Bacteria in Hospitals." Health Facilities Management Magazine | Hospitals Design, Construction & Operations, 23 July 2015, www.hfmmagazine.com/articles/1642-light-from-above-kills-bacteria-in-hospitals. Accessed 3 Dec. 2017.
Li, Jipeng, et al. "Recent advances in bioprinting techniques: approaches, applications and future prospects." Journal of Translational Medicine, vol. 14, no. 1, 2016.
Olaronke, Iroju et al. "State of The Art: A Study of Human-Robot Interaction in Healthcare." International Journal of Information Engineering and Electronic Business, vol. 9, no. 3, 2017, pp. 43-55. MECS Publisher, doi:10.5815/ijieeb.2017.03.06.
Ramadugu, Prathibha, and Kanaka Latha Alicante. "A Review on Biodegradable and Bio-Absorbable Stents for Coronary Artery Disease." Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability, vol. 08, no. 02, 2016.
Vivienne, M. "The Pros & Cons of the Selfie Stick!" Be Your Beloved – Vivienne McMaster, 13 July 2015, www.viviennemcmasterphotography.com/2015/07/13/the-pros-cons-of-the-selfie-stick/. Accessed 3 Dec. 2017.
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