Main findings for robotics in healthcare and wellness

Australia is a wealthy nation with enviable healthcare, yet providing services to remote and disadvantaged communities is challenging, and more than 50 per cent of the population suffers from at least one chronic disease. Advances in robotics (including AI) can assist with the provision of medical, pharmaceutical and imaging services to remote communities and can aid in the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases. Health dominates public expenditure and the health sector is Australia’s largest employer. However, working in the health sector can be hazardous. It may involve physically demanding and repetitive tasks, high levels of workplace stress, and violence. The sector has one of the highest rates of work related injuries and illnesses, predominantly due to regular people handling. Robotics can help to address these workplace issues by reducing manual handling and repetition, and reducing stress through the deployment of social robots. This will minimise some of the physical demands placed on our healthcare professionals and enable them to undertake alternate value-adding activities.