AI robots might seem like a far-off reality but the integrated use of robots in our daily life is closer than you think. Through the hard work of scientists and engineers, the field of AI robotics has begun to expand rapidly. AI is already beginning to impact our lives. And, pretty soon these robots could help solve one of our society’s most pressing problems. 

Robots have the potential to make a huge impact on the healthcare system. This technology could reduce the strain placed on caregivers and help them provide higher quality care to elderly patients. At the moment, it’s not likely that AI robots will entirely replace our caregivers. 

Currently, AI caregivers mostly perform simple chores and tasks. They also help provide social interaction and mental stimulation for the elderly. But, down the line, robots could function as more advanced aids and make our lives more efficient, especially in the realm of healthcare and elderly care.

Why Do We Need AI Robots For Elderly Care?

The world’s population is starting to age dramatically. By the year 2050, the WHO projects the number of people over the age of 65 will almost triple worldwide. This will bring our elderly population from 523 million to over 1.5 billion.

At the same time, with the birth rate decreasing in advanced countries, our younger population will continue to shrink. This poses a major risk for the elderly, as there will be fewer caregivers and health providers for them. With a shrinking young workforce, the demands on healthcare workers will only increase.

Currently, the growth of the elderly population is already causing strain and financial burden on our healthcare system. And this growth is the leading cause of death among older patients. As the old live longer due to advancements in medicine, they develop more chronic health issues like heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline, and other serious complications.

In other words, healthcare workers that take care of the elderly need help managing their patients that are living longer and developing more complex health issues. AI robot caregivers could be the solution to this problem.

Potential Benefits and Drawbacks of AI Robots in Nursing Homes

At the moment, the benefits of elderly care robots outweigh any drawbacks. Negligence in nursing homes is a major issue that many advanced countries are facing and care robots could help mitigate this problem. Oftentimes, nursing homes simply aren’t equipped to take care of their patients. In truth, the field of healthcare is in serious crisis as they need more healthy young workers to look after the elderly.

Reduce Elderly Abuse and Improve The Quality of Care For The Elderly

Unfortunately, caregivers in nursing homes don’t get many benefits. They are paid low wages, work longer hours, and don’t have the same status as other healthcare professionals. This has led to major abuse and negligence of our elderly. Considering the circumstances, AI caregivers could be beneficial for society.

We don’t have the means to fully care for our older population, but robots in nursing homes can help decrease that strain by taking over simple tasks. This way caregivers can help the elderly, and provide higher-quality care as robots take on some of the strain for them.

Robots Could Help During Pandemics 

Robots could also be useful for future pandemics. Since they don’t get sick and are less likely to spread disease through contact. They would still help care for the elderly. Robots could deliver food, provide social support, check vital signs, help doctors talk to their patients from far away, and provide many other contactless benefits.

AI Robots Could Put People Out of Work in the Future

There are drawbacks to consider, though, people are worried that AI robots could put people out of work. Right now this won’t be an issue, as AI isn’t advanced enough to replace real healthcare workers, but down the road having AI in nursing homes could set a dangerous precedent.

The Cost of AI Robots

Finally, the cost of AI is still expensive. It will cost nursing homes around $12,000 to 32,000 for a single caregiving robot. While this cost would be less than the annual salary of most healthcare workers, since robots would only work as aids doing simple tasks, some nursing homes might not have the resources to purchase one of these robots.

The AI Robot Revolution and How it Will Impact Society

In the future, the AI robot revolution will have major implications for society as a whole. Scientists are still developing AI and teaching robots and AI programs to perform crucial tasks.

Relegating certain work to robots, will make life more efficient and help advance technology even further. We could even begin pursuing career paths that better suit our interests as robots take over simple tasks and give us more free time. Still, there is a real human cost to consider.

AI robots don’t take breaks, don’t need vacation time, and don’t get into conflict with workers and customers. In short, robots could end up eliminating many human jobs, as companies try to cut back on costs and increase efficiency with a robot workforce.

People will lose their jobs as robots become more integrated into the workforce, and jobs will become more automated. It’s just a matter of when this will happen.

What Are the Uses of AI in Healthcare?

AI robots are already helping healthcare workers improve healthcare and focus on what matters most, the patients. But, what are the exact uses of AI in healthcare, we’ll talk about this briefly here.

Robots Caregivers Can Provide Companionship

AI robots are already beginning to fill some of the roles of caregivers. In nursing homes, robots have started to act as companions for the elderly. Many care robots were initially programmed to do small tasks like delivering food and medical supplies.

But what engineers didn’t expect was that patients in nursing homes would begin to find companionship with robots and want to interact with them more. Many robots are already programmed with humor and jokes to connect with the elderly, and some of these robots can even run game night and karaoke.

There is a range of AI robots being developed. And, this is one of the major gaps robots in nursing homes could end up filling. As there are fewer caregivers, patients might begin to need robots to interact with them for their social health.

Robots Can Aid Healthcare Workers in A Range of Settings

Robot caregivers are useful in a range of healthcare settings, not just in nursing homes. You’ve probably heard of robots helping doctors and surgeons with procedures. In addition, AI robots can also help healthcare workers get smaller logistical tasks done.

This includes getting supplies needed for check-ups, disinfecting patient areas, distributing and tracking meds, setting up patient rooms, doing patient intake and check-in, and aiding workers in healthcare with many more important tasks so they can focus on improving care for patients.

Final Thoughts

The potential for AI robots in healthcare is unlimited. As AI robotics continues to advance, the capabilities of this technology will only increase. At the moment, human care is still superior to AI care. Robots aren’t human after all, and they don’t create the same human connection and skill as real healthcare providers and caretakers.

But, as the demand for high-quality healthcare increases in the future, we will see more AI care robots in nursing homes, hospice settings, and hospitals working in the role of caregivers alongside humans.