people who need care than healthcare
workers available to provide it. 33 While
family members and friends attempt
to fill these care gaps, they too have full-
time jobs and other familial obligations,
and thus cannot meet the need. Health-
care workers are not only overburdened
by this labor shortage, but face increas-
many people would prefer to live and
age gracefully in their homes for as
long as possible, independently and
with dignity. 22 However, for people
requiring help with ADL tasks, this
goal is challenging to meet for a few
reasons. First, this level of care is quite
expensive; in the U.S. it costs between
$30,000 and $85,000 per year in pro-
vider wages alone.b
Second, there is a substantial health-
care labor shortage—there are far more
b U. S. Department of Health and Human Servic-
Figure 1. The main stakeholders for healthcare robotics, and exemplar contextualizations of their relationship to the technology.
Stakeholder Context for Robotics Examples of Robotics Use
Direct Robot Users (DRU):
People who directly use robots to aid them
with daily living or wellness activities.
This may include people who experience
difficulties with physical, cognitive, or sensory
functions, mental health, or behavioral health.
These experiences may be temporary or
permanent, acute or chronic, and may change
throughout one’s lifespan.
A DRU may directly use robotics technology to
help them accomplish daily living activities, with
physical, cognitive, or social tasks.
˲ A person with a lower limb amputation uses a robotic
arm to grasp objects
˲ A person with autism works with a robot to learn to
read facial expressions
˲ A person who has low vision uses a smart cane to
Persons who may provide healthcare or work
with DRU. These individuals may be: nurses,
physicians, mental healthcare providers,
rehabilitation professionals, pharmacists,
EMTs, among others.
A CL may use robotics technology while
providing care, in the course of their training,
or to help them with day-to-day administrative
˲ A therapist employs a therapeutic robotic pet in a
˲ A nurse uses a robot to help lift a DRU from their
wheelchair to a bed
˲ A surgeon uses a robot to aid with a minimally
˲ A medical student uses a robotic patient simulator to
learn how to treat a stroke
Care Givers (CG):
Family members, neighbors, volunteers, or
other unpaid persons who may support DRU.
A CG may use robotics technology to directly or
indirectly support a DRU
˲ An adult child uses a telepresence robot to
communicate with an older parent
˲ A friend may use a robot to perform household tasks
in the DRU’s home
Robot Makers (RM):
Individuals who design, build, program,
instrument, or research robotics technology.
A RM may work with DRU, CL, CG, PM, and ESW
to perform their work.
˲ A company builds a hospital discharge robot
˲ A student writes sensing algorithms for a robot to lift
people out of a wheelchair
˲ A Maker club adapts toys to be accessible by children
with motor impairments
Environmental Service Workers (ESW):
Persons who provide secondary care to DRUs
by helping prevent the spread of infection
through cleaning services. These can include
environmental service workers in hospitals,
housekeeping staff in nursing homes, and so on.
An ES W may use robotics technology to ensure
care environments are safe and sanitary to help
prevent the spread of infection. Their use of
robotics directly affects DRU’s quality of care,
and CL’s workplace safety.
˲ An ESW teleoperates a disinfecting robot which emits
UV light to kill superbugs in a hospital room
˲ An ESW uses a waste removal robot to safely
transport medical waste
Health Administrators (HA):
Individuals who provide leadership to a
care setting by planning, coordinating, and
directing care delivery.
An HA may purchase robots to support staff,
patients, or visitors, or set policy on their usage.
˲ A chief medical officer reviews clinical effectiveness
data of a rehabilitation robot
˲ A HA preforms a cost effectiveness study of acquiring
robots for their institution
Policy Makers (PM):
People who work for or with federal, state,
and local governments to design policy
regarding: how robots will be used, which
robots will be used, and how their costs will
A PM may work with DRU, CL, CG, ESW, RM, and
AG to understand how to best craft policy for the
use of robots.
˲ A Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) worker
establishes new policy for Home Use Devices
˲ A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) worker sets
privacy policies for robot sensors
Public or private organizations who makes
decisions about benefits to DRU and CG,
including service payments to CL and RM.
ICs may work with PM, AG, HA, RM, and CL to
establish guidelines for reimbursable robot-related services.
˲ An IC worker explores the robotic exoskeletons
evidencee base to establish reimbursement policy
˲ An IC worker consults with a company to understand
a robot’s control system
Advocacy Groups (AG):
Organizations who work on behalf of DRU
AGs may work with with DRU, CL, CG, RM, PM,
and others to ensure robots are employed in
ways that are of the best interest of their DRU
˲ An muscular dystrophy AG supports new research on
˲ An MS advocacy group lobbies congress to fund new