Opening a new health center at the innovation campus at the Texas Medical Center (TMC: Texas Medical Center) in Houston, Texas, ABB announced that it will provide collaboration robots to medical laboratories.
This facility, which will open in October 2019, will be the first healthcare research center specifically established by ABB. ABB's research team will work with healthcare professionals, scientists and engineers on TMC campus to develop non-surgical medical robot systems, including logistics and next-generation automated lab technologies.
Sami Atiya, ABB's Head of Robotics and Manufacturing Automation, said: “The new generation of laboratory processes developed in Houston will speed up manual medical laboratory processes, reduce and eliminate difficulties in laboratory work, and increase safety and compliance. This is particularly applicable to new high-tech therapies, such as leading cancer therapies, which are conducted at the Texas Medical Center but today require manual intervention and considerable time-consuming testing. ” said.
At present, the limiting factor on the number of patients that can be treated is the need for highly skilled medical professionals who spend most of their work on repetitive and low-value operations, such as preparing and centrifuging preparations. By linking these jobs to automation using robots, medical professionals will be able to focus on more productive jobs that require higher skills, and will have the opportunity to treat more people by dramatically accelerating testing.
ABB has already analyzed many manual laboratory procedures and predicts that 50% more tests can be performed each year using automation, and that the transfer of repetitive processes to robots will reduce the need for people to perform tasks that cause RSI repetitive strain injury.
As the world population ages, countries spend more and more of their GDP on healthcare. In addition to improving the quality of patient care, increasing efficiency through automation in health services will also facilitate the resolution of some social, political and financial problems caused by these expenditures. According to ABB's in-house study, the non-surgical medical robot market is estimated to reach 2025 by nearly fourfold by 2018 in 60.000.
ABB collaboration robots used in food and beverage laboratories are very suitable for medical facilities, so that they can work safely and effectively with people without requiring a safety cage. The robots will perform a series of continuous, precise, time-consuming tasks such as dosing, mixing and pipetting, preparing a sterile equipment set, and centrifugal placement and emptying.
Houston has an important place in medical technology research in the world and provides an ideal environment for ABB's new healthcare center, the innovation ecosystem at TMC. In addition to the research facility, automation laboratory and robot training opportunities in the 20 square meter area where a strong team of 500 people from ABB Robotics will work, it includes meeting areas devoted to developing solutions with innovation partners.
“With this exciting partnership, the Texas Medical Center continues to push the boundaries of innovation-based collaboration with leading industry partners,” said Bill McKeon, President and CEO of the Texas Medical Center. We can say that TMC has become the epicenter for ABB Robotics' work in the field of health. If you operate a medical center in the city, which accepts 10 million patients every year, you have to deal with efficiency and precision as a priority and improve processes that are easy to repeat as much as possible. Adding to the power of TMC Innovation in this R&D facility, which is a first of its kind to create robotic solutions in ABB's healthcare services, is an initiative that fits our commitments. ”
Atiya added: “It is a source of pride for us to develop collaborative robotic systems for the Hospital of the Future together with one of the most advanced medical centers in the world, test them in real laboratories, and add value to healthcare professionals and finally transform the functioning of medical laboratories worldwide. The key to ABB's long-term growth strategy is to invest in service robots and continue innovations in this field, by transferring our automation expertise to new areas such as health, based on our knowledge in the automotive and electronics industries. ”