Those who are fans of movies like “Minority Report” and “I, Robot” may understand that robots are the future. However, they may not realize just how close to “the future” we are today. More than just machines that assemble parts (in factories), some robots could be valuable in preventing the spread of disease in hospitals.
Maintaining clean hospitals is critically important given that more than 1 million hospital based bacterial infections are reported each year. Additionally, these infections are responsible for nearly 100,000 deaths across the United States each year. This is one of the reasons why infection related deaths are one of the leading causes of death.
Because of the potential liability that hospitals face because of infections leading to additional sickness, more medical providers are looking to robots. Basically, sanitation robots are essentially roving UV lamps. After all, ultraviolet light stops the spread of viruses and bacteria as it fuses their DNA and prevents them from growing. If these organisms don’t grow, they are easier to eliminate through manual cleaning methods.
A zdnet.com report, explains how hospital administrators see these robots as an important addition to the sanitization process; which is integral to patient safety. In addition to sanitizing a room after a human cleans up, a robot can also be programmed to detect infection patterns and maintain specific information about what the robot discovers while cleaning. This can help in further addressing infection problems. Arguably the most impressive aspect is that sanitation robots could be controlled remotely.
Indeed, having sanitation robots appears to be a novel idea. It remains to be seen when they will become a standard part of a hospital’s cleaning protocols.