A rapid increase in the number of elderly with chronic conditions has stressed the crumbling healthcare system worldwide. Accordingly, there is an urgent need for innovations to cater for the reduced workforce in this sector. Over a decade ago robots were introduced in health care to overcome these problems. Objectives Robots have numerous applications in healthcare ranging from initial diagnostics to surgeries, patient monitoring, social assistance and disability limitation. Considering their widespread applications, the current review aims to provide an overview of general applications of robotics in healthcare followed by studies that investigate the role of assistive robots in maintaining the health and well-being of the elderly. Data sources Databases like Pubmed, Google scholar and IEEE explore were searched and studies related to the applications of assistive robots in geriatric healthcare from Jan 2011 to April 2016 were retrieved. Study selection and data extraction A combination of keywords like assistive robots, robotics, elderly, geriatrics, healthcare, PARO and social robots were applied to search the relevant studies. About 28 studies reporting applications of assistive robots in elderly were included. Their salient features, results and conclusions were recorded. Results and conclusion The identified studies reported promising applications of assistive robots for social and daily healthcare of elderly. These results were mainly based on the experimental and observational studies as well as field trials involving elderly subjects and hence cannot be generalized for the populations worldwide. There is a need for welldesigned multicenter large scale studies to reliably include robotics in geriatric healthcare.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Geriatrics and Gerontology