The Future of Surgery: Do-It-Yourself Healthcare
If you have an illness or injury that requires surgical intervention, you’ll need to go to the hospital and receive treatment by a qualified team of doctors, surgeons, and nurses. But now, a designer has big plans for a future that includes surgeries you can perform yourself, in your own home.
It might sound like science fiction but The Open Surgery Machine was borne out of one mans obsession with popular life-hack videos on YouTube. Frank Kolkman, a Dutch designer and recent graduate of London’s Royal College of Art, was disappointed with the access to healthcare that middle-class America currently has, prompting many to resort to do-it-yourself videos on YouTube, as an alternative to seeking out qualified healthcare.
This surgical robot isn’t designed to perform complicated procedures but can perform laparoscopic surgeries. Laparoscopic surgeries are less invasive than traditional surgery and are performed by making tiny, keyhole size incisions before inflating the area of the body where surgery is to be performed with CO2. In theory, this would mean that The Open Surgery Machine could perform minor surgeries such as appendectomies, hysterectomies, and other general and minor procedures that are commonly performed in operating rooms with robotic assistance.
Kolkman admits that the idea will probably not take off but is interested in challenging the current framework associated with the medical field, namely the implications of alternative healthcare and better access to healthcare for the middle-class and impoverished areas of the world, where access is strictly limited. While the idea of do-it-yourself surgical intervention is frightening to some, for many, it’s the only option available. Recently, in rural China a 41-year old man made headlines when he performed his own tumor removal at home. Diagnosed with a cancerous bone tumor, Yu Yifei, was unable to afford further treatment after a relapse so he gathered medical supplies and extracted the tumor himself.
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