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Robots in Health and Social Care: A Complementary Technology to Home Care and Telehealthcare?
Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems, Plymouth University, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK
Faculty of Health, Plymouth University, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 November 2013; in revised form: 17 December 2013 / Accepted: 18 December 2013 / Published: 30 December 2013
Abstract: This article offers a brief overview of most current and potential uses and applications of robotics in health/care and social care, whether commercially ready and available on the market or still at the various stages of research and prototyping. We provide carefully hand-picked examples and pointers to on-going research for each set of identified robotics applications and then discuss the main ingredients for the success of these applications, as well as the main issues surrounding their adoption for everyday use, including sustainability in non-technical environments, patient/user safety and acceptance, ethical considerations such as patient/user privacy, and cost effectiveness. We examine how robotics could (partially) fill in some of the identified gaps in current telehealthcare and home care/self-care provisions. The article concludes with a brief glimpse at a couple of emerging developments and promising applications in the field (soft robots and robots for disaster response) that are expected to play important roles in the future.
Keywords: robots; robotics; telehealthcare; Ambient Assisted Living; assistive technology; social care
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Dahl, T.S.; Boulos, M.N.K. Robots in Health and Social Care: A Complementary Technology to Home Care and Telehealthcare? Robotics 2014, 3, 1-21.
Dahl TS, Boulos MNK. Robots in Health and Social Care: A Complementary Technology to Home Care and Telehealthcare? Robotics. 2014; 3(1):1-21.
Dahl, Torbjørn S.; Boulos, Maged N.K. 2014. "Robots in Health and Social Care: A Complementary Technology to Home Care and Telehealthcare?" Robotics 3, no. 1: 1-21.