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Current Trends in Robotics in Nursing Patents—A Glimpse Into Emerging Innovations

Frazier, Rachel M. PhD; Carter-Templeton, Heather PhD, RN-BC; Wyatt, Tami H. PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN; Wu, Lin MLIS, AHIP

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: June 2019 - Volume 37 - Issue 6 - p 290–297
doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000538

The purpose of this study was to describe the current evidence found through a patent search about robotics used to assist nurses in providing care. The authors used a modified seven-step strategy of searching patents according to the US Patent and Trademark Office guidelines. The nursing robotic search was performed in four databases including the US Patent and Trademark Office issued patent database, the US Patent and Trademark Office published patent application database, the European Patent Office database, and Relecura. Keywords reflecting the scope of the term “robot” were defined for the purposes of this specific search. This broad search yielded large numbers of patents germane to nursing care. These results were narrowed using keywords and the Cooperative Patent Classification schemes to determine relevance, ensure rigor, and capture the most relevant results. This review of patents suggests robots for nursing care are proliferating. The opportunity for robotics in nursing is emerging in industry. Although nursing will likely benefit from robotics, we must determine the appropriate place to include robots in nursing care delivery.

Author Affiliations: Graphenics, LLC, Williamsburg, VA (Dr Frazier); Capstone College of Nursing, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (Dr Carter-Templeton); College of Nursing, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Dr Wyatt); and Health Sciences Library, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis (Ms Wu), TN.

Partial support of the project was provided by The University of Alabama's Office for Research and Economic Development through NSF (IIP-1450293).

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding author: Rachel M. Frazier, PhD, Graphenics, LLC, Williamsburg, VA (

Compendium date: June, 2019

Online date: May 23, 2019

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