Robotics for healthcare. Final report
For the last two decades the European Commission (EC), and in particular the Directorate General Information Society and Media, has been strongly supporting the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in healthcare. ICT is an enabling technology which can provide various solutions in the healthcare sector, ranging from electronic patient records and health information networks to intelligent prosthetics and robotised surgery. The EC funded the present study with the aim to investigate the potential of robotics in healthcare. Robotics for healthcare is an emerging field which is expected to grow in the face of demographic change (ageing), expected shortages of healthcare personnel, calls for improving quality of life for the elderly and disabled, and the need for even higher quality care, for example high precision surgery. All these factors stimulate innovation in the domain of Robotics for Healthcare. Several programs and networks dedicated to research on robotics are already focusing part of their efforts on applications in healthcare.