Following the rapid spread of robots like the Da Vinci in surgical applications, researchers at the University of Florida College of Medicine are now tackling a related field: They use the robot to perform anesthesia. Using ultrasound imaging, a remote operator placed two catheters, allowing targeted delivery of nerve blocking chemicals. For the time being, the researchers have only performed teleanesthesia procedures on phantoms.
However, they are convinced that the research is promising: It allows to bring comparable perioperative care even to the geographically remote patient and allows individual doctors to specialize further by performing more specific interventions than they could without the robot, ultimately resulting in better care for patients.
(A little bit) more on this at robots.net