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18-21 June 2025

Future of Robots in the Medical Industry

• Since the emergence of medical robots over 40 years ago, they have played an important role in providing increasingly diverse health services.

• AI and various cutting-edge technologies have been driving medical robots’ efficiency as well as improving the work quality of medical personnel.

• Modern patients have received better treatment and require less time to recover both physically and mentally.


  Since the first robotic arm technology emerged in the medical field to provide surgical assistance in the 1980s, several years later computer vision and AI for data analytics have transformed medical robots even further. So far, they have been helping surgeons to perform complex surgeries faster with more accuracy, and help reduce infections and other complications. At the same time, using simulation platforms powered by AI and virtual reality to train surgical robots within the virtual environment has allowed surgeons to practice surgical procedures and master their robot controlling skills.


Nowadays, robots are not only present in operating rooms, but they have expanded their capabilities to other areas of health care to support medical personnel and increase efficiency in patient care. Robots have reduced medical procedures, increased flexibility and lowered risks, and promote a safe working environment. For example, robots can independently clean and prepare patient rooms in the infectious disease ward. Meanwhile, robots with AI-based drug identification software can help reduce the time it takes to distribute drugs to patients in hospitals. Medical robots are also deployed in research laboratories to automate manual, repetitive, and high-volume tasks. This has allowed technicians and scientists to focus on strategic work that drives more innovative discoveries, and has freed up the time needed by doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to spend on taking care of patients.


More importantly, medical robots can also help address staffing shortages and challenges such as inventory tracking and timely ordering to help ensure that medical equipment and medicine supplies are in stock. They can also help handle heavy equipment to reduce physical stress on medical personnel, such as moving beds or patients, hence work environment is improved.

New developments in medical robots continue to be discovered. For example, therapy robots can help patients with rehabilitation after a stroke, paralysis or traumatic brain injury, or impairments caused by multiple sclerosis. A robot arm installed on a wheelchair is being developed by Intel and Accenture with an aim of helping patients with spinal injuries on their work and daily life. When the robot is equipped with AI and a depth camera, it will be able to monitor the patient's form while performing prescribed exercises, measure the level of movement in different positions and track progress more accurately than the human eye. Medical robots can act as social companion to patients by providing advice and encouragement. Some examples of these robots are Jibo, Pepper or Buddy. These friendly social bots are designed to interact with patients through conversation and are especially useful in centers for the elderly. They also help improve the quality of patient wellbeing within healthcare facilities by providing companionship and relieving feelings of loneliness.


An example of innovation in the field of medical robot worth keeping an eye on is Intel® RealSense™, a 3D camera with a depth camera that helps healthcare providers track changes in rheumatoid arthritis patients’ joints. For patients who need physical therapy, this camera will enable therapists to track changes in the range of motion to more accurately determine rehabilitation progress. Another type of robots, telemedicine robots, are medical robots equipped with sensors or cameras that can help bridge the gap between medical providers and patients in remote areas by providing them with virtual consultations on blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen levels and many more. This enables patients to receive real time medical assistance and treatment programs although they live in a very far away location from the nearest hospitals. It also allows doctors to correct abnormalities that occur immediately, and patients with chronic diseases will especially benefit from this innovation.

It is undeniable that when artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, computer vision, and other technologies have advanced, medical robots will continue to evolve even further and various medical service tasks will be achieved automatically with greater efficiency and accuracy. This is a key factor driving the global market for medical robots, which was valued at USD 13.19 billion in 2023, and is expected to grow to USD 52.41 billion by 2032, with a compound annual growth rate of 15.69%. Of these figures, hospitals will emerge as the largest market share holder.


In addition to various news from our blogs, there are also interesting stories about medical robots waiting to be explored at Assembly & Automation Technology 2024 – the 23rd edition of ASEAN's Most Comprehensive Exhibition on Industrial Automation Systems & Solutions and Assembly Technology. This is where industrialists will find automation systems and robots for every manufacturing industry, including automotive, packaging, plastics, food and beverages, as well as service robots for hotels and restaurants. Interested participants may pre-register your visit online or reserve your exhibit space here.