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Cutting edge robotic surgery helps combat COVID-19 in Dubai

Robot Surgeon
Robot Surgeon   -   Copyright  Credit: Dubai Tourism
By Evan Bourke
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is offering cutting-edge technology to aid the healthcare industry amid the coronavirus pandemic.

When the world experiences a disaster, often the only positive outcome is the evolution of technology. During war, technology is developed to overcome enemies. In the wake of that war, the technology is often adapted for everyday use.

Microwaves, for example, were developed to improve radars on fighter planes during the Second World War. About 30 years later, microwaves were then adapted for the simple task of heating food.

The COVID-19 crisis is no different, many technologies have been created and developed to help battle the deadly virus.

In Dubai, the first physical conference to be held since the pandemic was the "AI Everything" event. AI experts and industry leaders came together to discuss the latest powerful AI technology and its applications.

One such technology is the robotic surgeon. By using a robot, surgeons don't need to use their hands to directly touch the patient. As a result, incisions are smaller than with conventional surgery, which improves healing time.

The surgeon controls the instruments of the robot with a console. This console is controlled from a safe distance from the patient so the chance of a surgeon being infected is reduced.

CEO of American Hospital Dubai, Sherif Beshara, told Euronews that the hospital had operated on 105 extremely high-risk patients using their robotics surgery and had experienced zero infections or complications for healthcare workers.

'Machine learning' is an AI subset and provides systems with the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed.

It's achieved by the robot surgeon using information from medical research and by watching previous operations.

Using complex algorithms AI can determine patterns within surgical procedures. This capability enables the robot to alert a surgeon to any irregularities, assisting their ability to make decisions.

AI technology has also been used by the United Arab Emirates government to calculate and predict how many cases of COVID could arise.

From this data, hospitals were not only able to prepare sufficient staff and facilities but were also able to determine timelines for infections increasing.

Beshara said using AI makes medical staff more efficient which gives them more time to care for patients.