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Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag

11.12.2018 | Publication

Can robots contribute to good care?

Policy brief TAB-Fokus no. 17 »Robots in Nursing - Societal Challenges« provides a quick overview of the topic as well as options for action.

For years, the number of people in need of care has increased, while it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit enough nurses. In view of the emerging demographic challenges, the potential of service robotics is increasingly becoming the focus, in order to be able to relieve the burden on carers and to support those in need of care in everyday life. For various tasks in the care of the elderly there are corresponding prototypes in development and some are already in use. The TAB working report »Robotics and Assistive Neurotechnologies in Nursing« addresses the societal implications of this development, with a particular focus on the clarification of normative issues and the possibilities for the prospective design of technology development.

The TA project focused on the following questions: How can robots contribute to good care and which ethical challenges result from the increasing mechanisation and particularly from an automation of everyday care? What are the current regulations for dealing with robotic care technologies, particularly with regard to issues of security, liability and data privacy? Are they appropriate to the upcoming challenges? What could be an adequate governance of technology development in order to find solutions that are demand-oriented and capable of gaining acceptance?

The TAB-Fokus no. 17, which is now available in English, features the key findings of the TA study, which was prepared from 2016 to 2017.

For the full report TAB-Arbeitsbericht Nr. 177, published in September 2018 after acceptance by the German Bundestag, please visit the German project page.

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