This is a great discussion with Harel Gadot, Company Group Chairman of MEDX Ventures Group LLC and COB of XACT Robotics.
The breakdown of both the current and rapidly evolving aspects of healthcare robotics systems in the market today are:
Assist – I call this the “here, hold this robot”. This type of robot assists the physician/surgeon or clinician with a surgical procedure. Generally offering no detailed guidance but augments and is an extension in haptics, navigation and vision.
Advise – this is where AI and ML start to enter the robotics platforms. Layering this on top of the Assist modality and dramatically empowering the surgeons and clinicians with the acquisition of data that is immediately actionable and provides valuable insight during the procedure.
Autonomous – The emerging platform that aggregates Assist & Advise and then will perform part or all of the procedure under the watchful direction of the surgeon. A “trust but verify” relationship between surgeon and machine.
There are a few organizations that have moved into the commercial facing Autonomous category.
Robots enhance and empower the surgeons, they do not replace. Everyone wins.