Over the past few years we have seen many reports on the use of robotic devices in medicine. Some are vastly complicated devices that can make a big difference to complex surgery - improving outcomes and, sometimes, increasing the number of operations possible.
There have also been huge advances in prostheses - some of which have considerable "intelligence" in order to work well.
I'd like to suggest something that might make a considerable difference to day-to-day medicine yet would be at the low end of complexity and, I'd hope, cost.
That is a phlebotomy robot. More or less, you sit on a chair and put your arm in the right place. It then does the blood collection, marks the tube(s), and passes them up the chain to the lab.
If done well, I suspect it would reduce the occurrence of severe bruising, missed veins, etc. And avoid the dependence on trained phlebotomists being available. Thus potentially opening up blood collection to 24-hour working. Allowing collection to be done at a biologically appropriate time (so long as the patients can get there). Avoiding the impact of staff sickness on blood testing. Improving the quality of samples taken.
Many, possibly all, existing phlebotomists will still be needed. For doing the rounds of in-patients. For dealing with non-standard situations (such as the need to take blood from elsewhere than the arm). For meeting, greeting, explaining, and generally helping things to run well.
Those of us who find getting an early blood test difficult, or impossible, might find it makes a big difference so long as its use increases rate of blood draws.
And, eventually, we might even see such robotic devices being installed in many more locations than currently do phlebotomy.