Robotics and regional anesthesia

Mohamad Wehbe, Marilu Giacalone, Thomas M Hemmerling
Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology 2014, 27 (5): 544-8

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Robots in regional anesthesia are used as a tool to automate the performance of regional techniques reducing the anesthesiologist's workload and improving patient care. The purpose of this review is to show the latest findings in robotic regional anesthesia.

RECENT FINDINGS: The literature separates robots in anesthesia into two groups: pharmacological robots and manual robots. Pharmacological robots are mainly closed-loop systems that help in the titration of anesthetic drugs to patients undergoing surgery. Manual robots are mechanical robots that are used to support or replace the manual gestures performed by anesthesiologists. Although in the last decade researchers have focused on the development of decision support systems and closed-loop systems, more recent evidence supports the concept that robots can also be useful in performing regional anesthesia techniques.

SUMMARY: Robots can improve the performance and safety in regional anesthesia. In this review, we present the developments made in robotic and automated regional anesthesia, and discuss the current state of research in this field.

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