The National Robotarium partnered with NHS Grampian Innovation Hub to co-host 'Beyond Surgery: Robotic Assistance in the Workplace' a unique event held at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on 23 August.
Along with potential industry partners, the two organisations brought together funders, investors, scientists and representatives from NHS domestic services, catering, nursing and pharmacy services at the north-east health board to explore how robotic technology and intelligent autonomous systems could be used to better carry out activities in NHS Scotland.
Adam Coldwells, director of strategy and deputy chief executive of NHS Grampian, said “We have already seen great strides forward in areas such as a robotic assisted surgery in Grampian and we recognise that there are opportunities in other areas as we look to recover from the impact of the pandemic and improve the health service moving forward in future.
“We hope this event provides industry members with the opportunity to hear directly from frontline NHS staff about the nature of the challenges they encounter and where possible allow for onsite visits to be arranged and networks to be formed.
“Further, we believe this may be an interesting opportunity for companies already working in healthcare but also others applying robotic technology solutions in different industrial areas.”
The event looked at cases where robotics could be implemented - including meal plating and portioning in the kitchens, cleaning at height, changing curtains, patient self-administration of drugs and dispensing controlled drugs on the wards - with the view to explore potential robotic solutions in each area each.
Lisa Farrell, Business Development Manager at the National Robotarium, who led on the delivery of the partnership event, said “At the National Robotarium, we're passionate about developing robotic and autonomous technology to improve safety, productivity, and efficiency in a variety of different settings.
“To have the opportunity to co-host this unique event, and explore how the use of robots and AI can improve the working lives of dedicated staff on the NHS frontline, is really exciting and has the potential to lead to the design and development of new technology and systems that can be of real benefit to healthcare staff and their patients.”