10 Future Jobs in Health Care

Medical Roboticist
A hospital in Spain uses a medical robot during a prostate cancer surgery. Javier Larrea/Getty Images

Meet HeartLander. It's a tiny robot that enters someone's chest through a small incision below the sternum, or breast bone, motors along the heart's surface to a specific area, then administers whatever therapy is prescribed by the physician. HeartLander is controlled by a physician, but it was created by a medical roboticist. Medical roboticists create any number of intelligent tools that can be used by medical professionals, or with them, to do everything from perform surgeries to diagnose ailments [source: Carnegie Mellon University].

Besides surgical robots like HeartLander, medical roboticists create devices like the DEKA Arm, a mind-controlled prosthetic arm that can perform such fine-motor-skill tasks as zipping a zipper and picking up an egg without breaking it [source: D'Orazio]. And patents are pending on ever-more futuristic robots for the health care field, such as a robotic companion for the elderly and infirm, a micro-robot you swallow so it can photograph your innards and a neurosurgery robot that affixes directly to your skull [source: Ekinci].

Medical roboticists generally have backgrounds in engineering or computer science, as well as some medical training.