Dedicated to improving manufacturing efficiency

Survey data: Safety fears over use of robots in medical procedures

Only nine per cent of people would prefer to undergo surgery carried out by a robot surgeon compared to a human, despite recent advances in technology that have led to a rise in the use of robotics in a medical setting. 

This is according to a new survey, conducted by specialist distributor of industrial components Northern Connectors, which found 51 per cent of people would still favour a human surgeon, as opposed to a robotic device. 

The survey, which questioned 570 people about their opinions on recent medical advancements, revealed that only nine per cent of respondents would rather a robot carried out their surgery, while 40 per cent answered “I don’t know”. 

When asked about their views on the main disadvantages of using robotics in medicine, 73 per cent of respondents said the “possibility of malfunction” was a concern, followed by the high cost of the machinery (56%) and a loss of jobs in the NHS (41 per cent). 

Scott Jones, general manager at Northern Connectors, says: “The use of robotic systems in surgical and medical applications is becoming more widespread, with ongoing advances in the technology likely to make this even more common in future.

“However, the findings of our survey suggest there is still a long way to go when it comes to trusting machinery to carry out work typically performed by humans. 

“Despite the fact that robots are in many ways seen as more accurate and reliable than human surgeons, people are inevitably worried about putting their lives in the hands of a machine.”

The responses were not all negative - and many people do agree that using robotics in medicine can come with a number of benefits. When asked about the main advantages of using robotics in medical procedures, 64 per cent said the reduced risk of human error, followed by less invasive surgery (57 per cent) and smaller incisions (56 per cent). 

When asked to what extent they agreed that the increased use of robotics by medical care providers would improve the standard of patient care, 45 per cent said “neither agree nor disagree”, 34 per cent said “agree”, eight per cent said “disagree” and two per cent said “strongly disagree”. Only 11 per cent of respondents strongly agreed that robotics would lead to an improvement in patient care. 

Scott Jones says: “While people seem to be vaguely aware of the benefits of using robotics in medical procedures, it is clear that more needs to be done to alleviate concerns among members of the public. 

“Fears surrounding the safety and accuracy of procedures are prevalent among members of the public, however, it is highly likely that the widespread use of medical robotics is set to continue. And so, more education of the advantages of such products is needed to truly gain the support of the public.”


Related Articles

Training for a manfacturing job is better than degree – survey

A survey commissioned by alternative careers website Uni’s not for me has revealed the public believe providing young people with…

Predictive data set to increase business profitability by over 20%

More than one in five managers in the manufacturing sector believe that predictive data would increase the overall profitability of the…

Over half of transport workers feel lonely

Over half of people (52 per cent) working in the transport and logistics sector feel always, often or sometimes lonely according to new…

Robot Race: The world's top 10 automated countries 

The average robot density in the manufacturing industry hit a new global record of 113 units per 10,000 employees. By regions, Western…

Choosing components for cobots

Behind the drawn factory doors of facilities across Europe, humans are working safely alongside a new kind of colleague, one that is…

UK manufacturers value data more highly than tangible assets

Business data drawn from ERP/MPR systems is considered to be the most valuable asset a business owns, according to a recent survey by…