Thursday, 5 April 2018

The robots are coming

Roger Watson, Editor

The ageing population, increasing care needs and shortage of healthcare professionals pose major challenges in Western societies. Special service robots designed for care tasks have been introduced as one solution to these problems. The aim of this study from Finland was to answer the question: 'How prepared healthcare professionals are to take robots as their assistants in terms of experience and acceptance?'

An article based on the study has been published by Turja et al. (2018) in Nursing Open titled: 'Finnish healthcare professionals’ attitudes towards robots: Reflections on a population sample'. Nearly 1000 nurses and nearly 4000 other health professionals and the general population were surveyed. The general population had more experience of robots than the healthcare professionals and more positive attitudes. However, healthcare professionals saw a limited role for robots, for example, heavy lifting and logistics.

The authors concluded: 'The most constant finding between the respondent groups was that individuals who have experience with robots, have more positive attitudes towards them. Healthcare professionals have fairly optimistic expectations towards robot assistance, but only with certain kinds of tasks.'

Reference

Turja T, Van Aerschot L, Särkikoski T, Oskanen, A (2018) Finnish healthcare professionals’ attitudes towards robots: Reflections on a population sample Nursing Open doi: 10.1002/nop2.138

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