There has been a lot of talk in recent years about the capabilities that health professionals will need in the future. This is partly because the sheer economics of future healthcare will mean that other ways of delivering routine tasks - those that once required extensive training and expensively employed specialists to deliver them - will be given managed by smart machines, wearables, robotics and AI. A friend of mine was saying the other day that she recently sat with her elderly mother in hospital for two weeks during a bout of illness, and during that time only two of the nurses actually took time to build a relationship with them. The others just came in to do things to her: … [Read more...] about Can you teach physiotherapists to be empathic?
It's sometimes reassuring to imagine that when the robots finally take over, and all of our mundane repetitive tasks are in the hands of automatons, we will still want and need the comforting touch of real people. I've argued as much myself, suggesting that the future for the physical therapies is assured because people will always want skilled, caring, thoughtful physical touch - the kind of touch no machine will ever be able to replace (Nicholls 2017). But what this argument misses is that its entirely possible for robots to replace physical therapies because they are robots. This point is explored in this beautiful short film by Oliver Schwartz, that explores the relationship a … [Read more...] about Very touching: Physiotherapy in the age of non-human companions
There's been quite a lot of talk in recent years about the potential for robots to support, or even replace, therapists in neurological rehabilitation clinics, home-care workers in rest homes, and teachers in the classroom. Often, stories about robotic therapy aides are sold as radical alternatives to contemporary practice. But how radical are they really? A recent post celebrating the success of a robot in helping stroke patients regain upper limb movement (link) illustrates the point. If robots like this are seen as an albeit very accurate and quantifiable extra pair of hands, then they could be said to fall into the same class of technology as another therapist, therapy assistant, or … [Read more...] about How radical is robotic physiotherapy anyway?
Firstly, some of you will notice that things have been a bit quiet on the site this last 10 days. That's because we've migrated the whole shooting match over to a new paid site. We have a new look, new functions, and a much more stable site that, we hope, will be much nicer for you to use, and easier for us to manage. Huge thanks once again go to our good friend Sofia Woods from Shortie Designs for helping us with all the technical things. Our own Jo Bloggs will be posting more about the upgrade soon. Since we've been away for a few days, I thought it might be nice to recommend a few things to make your week a little bit more critical, because everyone should make time for at least … [Read more...] about Critical things to do this week