When most people think about product liability lawsuits involving surgical robots, they imagine the scenario where a patient undergoes an unsuccessful operation and then sues the robot manufacturer for damages. But few envision claims against robot manufacturers for injuries sustained by healthcare providers while using surgical robots. So what would such a claim look like? And what steps can surgical robot manufacturers take to mitigate their exposure?
Today, major healthcare companies are investing heavily into various AI-powered devices. For example, Zimmer Biomet and the New York City-based Hospital for Special Surgery recently inked a three-year deal to create the HSS/Zimmer Biomet Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence in Robotic Joint Replacement. “The collaboration aims to develop decision support tools—powered by data collection and machine learning — to assist surgeons planning and predicting outcomes for robotic-assisted joint replacements.” Additionally, Johnson & Johnson have gone on record saying that they see “a huge opportunity to harness data, machine learning and artificial intelligence to help drive decision-making at all levels of healthcare.” As artificial intelligence starts playing a larger role in the modern healthcare space, a critical question will need to be answered: Are AI-powered solutions products or services?
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