Nandan Gijare is an educator at heart and his venture I2CAN is today making waves in fraternities as wide apart as the beauty treatment industry and healthcare by bringing forth a cadre of well-trained and well-informed care-support individuals.
Its year 2050 and I walk into one of these modern aesthetic clinics. I am 75 years old, but still have flawless skin and nice lustrous hair. There are no humans in the clinic. A robot greets me and asks me for my identification to confirm that I have an appointment. After checking my identification, it asks me to take a seat. Soon another robot approaches me. It is the skin analysis robot. It analyses my skin while I have a cup of nice coffee made to my specifications (they already know what I like).
I am asked to enter a room after finishing that fabulous cup of coffee. My skin analysis is done, they have checked my history and they are now ready with the treatment. As I lie down multiple probes hover over my face. Local anaesthesia is applied on my face and procedures, which used to take hours back in 2022, are preformed within a few minutes’ time span. Multiple procedures are performed in the right sequence. These robots are fast, but accurate. They never make a mistake. I am done in 10 minutes and my bill is one third of what I used to pay my aesthetician back in 2022.
This is the new world. The world of robot driven aesthetic industry. But can it happen? How are robots helping aestheticians right now and where is this industry heading? Is robotics the future of aesthetics? Let try to find out.
Before we dig deeper, let us first define what is a robot? A robot is anything that can automate a task without involvement of a human being. By those standards, we are already using robots in aesthetics. The big question is, whether they can replace an aesthetician someday. To try and answer that million-dollar question, let us first look at some domains within aesthetics, where robots are already making their presence felt.
Hair Transplantation: Hair transplantation is a very popular cosmetic procedure to restore hairline of patients using a minor surgery. Hair follicles are taken from the areas of the scalp where hair density is good and then transplanted to bald or thinning areas on the scalp. The most tedious procedure during hair transplant is to harvest hair follicles from the donor area. Doctors use FUE method for hair transplantation these days where each follicular unit is individually extracted and then transplanted. A fully automated hair transplant system called ARTAS© has been introduced few years back and is currently making waves in the hair transplantation industry. There are other similar robotic products in the market now. They can automate entire hair transplantation procedure without any human intervention. What’s more, robotic follicular extractions are much faster, are more precise and result into less follicular damage.
Injectable: Botox, Fillers and other injectable have become an integral part of aesthetic treatments. Known for their instant results, short procedure time and no downtime after procedure, they are currently the most popular aesthetics procedures in the world. Multiple companies have stated introducing robotic arms powered by artificial intelligence (AI), which can inject patients with Botox and Fillers. A very important part of any aesthetic procedure is to understand the facial harmony and how a treatment will impact this facial harmony. These robotic arms have very advanced imaging software, which can analyse patient’s face to find any asymmetries and decide the exact points and amounts to be injected. They can even remember the exact point on the face where injectable were delivered, so that they can be injected at exactly the same point (these machines have an accuracy of 0.1mm) next time for the best results.
Laser Therapy: Robotic systems have started making their presence felt in laser therapy. There are robotic systems currently available for doing body contouring, hair removal and even skin resurfacing. These systems have a very sophisticated imaging software which can analyse the skin and prepare a map of how laser machine needs to move on the body. It can also decide the duration, size of the laser beam and its intensity for the optimal result. EON©, SAHARA© and lot of other products are currently available in the market.
Aesthetic Surgery: Lately lot of surgical procedures are being done by robotic systems. But as of now, there are no automated robotic systems available, which can perform unassisted cosmetic surgeries. The most important reason according to lot of aesthetic surgeons is that fact that skin thickness, texture and composition various drastically from patient to patient. Skin thickness also varies drastically based on what part of the body we are talking about. This variability makes it very difficult to automate any plastic surgery. But advances in skin imagining techniques is very promising and there is an expectation that robotic systems which are more efficient, accurate and faster than human surgeons will be available for performing plastic surgeries before the end of this decade.
So as we can see, robotic systems are either available or being made available for most of the domains within aesthetics. As these robotic systems mature, they will make procedure less painful, much faster, more accurate and more economical for the patients. Aestheticians will then have to move up the food chain and take the role of being a consultant rather than the person who performs procedures. Aesthetics has been a very late entrant in the robotics game. Most of the other domain in healthcare industry are already performing robotic surgeries for years now. But aesthetics seems to be catching up fast. This decade should be the decade of aesthetics for the robotics industry. We should see many new innovative robotic systems being made available this decade, which is change the aesthetics industry forever. So to conclude, the right question is not “IF robotic devices will start doing aesthetics treatments”, but “WHEN robotic devices will start doing aesthetics treatments”. And the answer is “very soon” ……..