Biomedical engineering is continuing its amalgamation of individual disciplines of engineering, fusing it into one discipline that has the health of humanity as its core focus.
A host of startups and companies are developing technologies that will assist the healthcare sector and keep people healthier. United States company, Neocis, is one of those companies. They specialize in Precision Healthcare Robotics.
The Vice-President of Operations and fellow co-founder Juan Salcedo has over a decade of experience in manufacturing and mechanical design for the medical device industry. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Florida International University. The Director of Software, the Director of Manufacturing, and the Director of Clinical Marketing have backgrounds in mechanical engineering too.
One of the robots they have engineered is a dentistry assistant named Yomi, who is particularly gifted at doing dental implants. Starting with a CT scan of a patient's mouth, the robot can analyze the image and find the exact area where an implant is needed.
And now, the first dentist in the world to use a robotic assistant has feedback.
Dr. Eddie Kotary is from State College and has opted for the dental assistant.
Kotary, however, does appreciate the concern people might feel about a robot inspecting the inside of their mouth. Nonetheless, the dental robot is not yet artificially intelligent and performing operations by itself, it is merely used for assistance — the professional is still crucial in the equation...for now. He said:
“A common misconception among patients is that the robot does surgery. I still perform the surgery and the machine helps to guide my direction.”
Kotary has done 10 surgeries and all have been successful. He has compared the robot to a Tesla vehicle — instead of driving for you, it helps you drive more accurately. According to Centre Daily, the robot ensures that a patient recovers quicker than traditional surgery, and it drives the cost of an implant down by US$500.
The South Florida Center for Periodontics and Implant Dentistry in Boca Raton, Florida, have just taken on their own Yomi robot after undergoing training to use their new robot assistant.
In rural areas, orthodontics, dentistry, and general healthcare is few and far between. Robots could potentially be implemented in third-world countries to provide dental healthcare. But for now, the Yomi Robot is a sizeable investment for a dental healthcare company to make, as it carries a hefty price.
Mechanical engineers could be crucial to the designing and implementing of surgery-assisting robots. If they are involved in every step, they could bring down the cost of these robots and help rural areas get access to the kinds of robotics that could save their lives, or at least their teeth.
Romanowski, Isabel. “Yomi, Oh My! A Local Dentist Is the World's First to Use a Robot Assistant.” Centredaily, Centre Daily Times, www.centredaily.com/latest-news/article217524480.html