Once-Promising Robot Anesthesiologist Loses Its Job

Sedasys bot will be painlessly put to sleep

anesthesiology station
The (regular, non-robotic) anesthetic area of an operating roomCoronation Dental Specialty Group

The robots were supposedly coming for our jobs. Not just the blue collar jobs, but also the highly trained and exceptionally well-paid jobs of anesthesiologists. These doctors help patients walk the dangerously thin line between pain-free unconsciousness and death, and for that their services can cost $2,000 per procedure. A robot named Sedasys could do the same job for more like $200 … except that nobody wants to buy it.

Several outlets are reporting that Johnson & Johnson will stop selling Sedasys because of poor sales.

The machine was able to administer anesthesia for routine procedures, while monitoring the patient's vitals. It could be operated by a nurse or clinician, which is where the cost savings come in. The device got FDA approval in 2013, but as The Washington Post notes:

Sedasys was never welcomed by human anesthesiologists. Before it even hit the market, the American Society of Anesthesiologists campaigned against it, backing down only once the machine’s potential uses were limited to routine procedures such as colonoscopies.

Looks like the humans have won this round.