"The future of surgery is not about blood and guts; the future of surgery is about bits and bytes.”
/Dr. Richard Satava/

Monday, October 5, 2015

AQrate performs first human trial

Read their press release:
"Lausanne, Switzerland, October 5th, 2015 – KB Medical SA, a Swiss company specialized in designing, developing and marketing spinal surgical robot, is pleased to announce the first surgical intervention with its AQrateTM Robotic Assistance System. The spinal fusion surgery was performed by Doctor Marc Morard at the Neurosurgery Department of Hôpital du Valais in Sion, Switzerland, assisted by Doctor Chetan Patel from the Spine Health Institute, Altamonte Springs, Florida, USA. The patient presented symptoms associated with a degenerative spine disorder and was treated by lumbar fusion with a minimally invasive posterior approach. 
Assisted by the AQrate System the surgical team implanted four pedicle screws with a minimally invasive technique, where the AQrate System guided the surgeon in stages of planning, instrument navigation and cavity preparation for the implants in the patient’s vertebrae. Doctor Morard emphasized: “We are proud to perform the first ever spine procedure assisted by the AQrate Robotic Assistance System manufactured in Switzerland. This opens promising perspectives to improve the treatment of spine disorders”. Jean-Marc Wismer, CEO of KB Medical commented: “The minimal invasive technique provides our surgical patients with smaller incisions for faster recovery time, less exposure to radiation, but the principal advantage of our tool is that it improves surgical accuracy. 
This decreases overall risk during surgery.” The robotic system helps to guide and overall to maintain stabilized the surgeon’s instruments based on highly accurate real time intraoperative planning of spinal implant placement. This precise and ultra-steady guidance improves the surgeon’s ability to safely place implants with tremendous precision, particularly when working through very small incisions or when dealing with complex anatomy. Robot-guided spine surgery is a promising new technology that has many advantages. Innovative techniques allow surgeons to perform less invasive surgical procedures with smaller incisions, less operative bleeding, faster recovery time and shorter hospital stays. 
These procedures are performed with less radiation exposure to patients and health care providers. Robot-guidance also can increase the accuracy and safety of surgical procedures allowing for better outcomes.

Read more about the AQrate system here and here

Source: KBmedical

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Call for participation in standardization actions

Standards are supposed to make our lives more organized and thus easier, but only if they are well thought-out. Some of the relevant efforts are now focusing on medical robotics, aiming for a new set of standards for surgical and rehabilitation robots. IEC has accepted two new joint committees ("New work item proposals") with ISO this summer:
  • Medical electrical equipment – Part 2-35: Particular requirements for the basic safety and essential performance of medical robots for surgery
  • Medical electrical equipment - Part 2-36: Particular requirements for the basic safety and essential performance of medical robots for rehabilitation, compensation or alleviation of disease, injury or disability
Their meetings are held together with the JWG9 ones. The first meeting took place in Stuttgart, in July, next will be in Hangzou this month, and then February in the USA. 
If you are interested in joining these groups, you should get in touch with your national IEC committee for endorsement

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Video Wednesday

"We’re having another in our series of hangouts with leading researchers working on innovative medical technologies. Sina Pourghodrat of the University of Nebraska, who has been working on electro-hydraulic minimally invasive surgical tools, will be discussing his research and answering our questions."

Monday, September 28, 2015

Red Dot award for Hand-in-Scan

Well, this has nothing to do with surgical robotics, it is not even a classical medical design, yet I'm proud to announce here that our innovation and product, Hand-in-Scan got awarded! 
"The Hand-in-Scan Medical Trainer won the Red Dot design award in the category of “Design Concept” at the most important event of the global designer community. The hand hygiene education and control system was created as a result of a successful collaboration between Hand-in-Scan as developer and manufacturer and the Flying Objects team as designer.
The Red Dot, the “Oscar prize” of the designer world, delivers awards to products that are innovative, functional and durable, have additional value and can be used as an integrated system. The Red Dot is a top global design competition that recognizes excellence in creativity and competence in design. The award indicates the highest quality and aesthetic warranty for future customers and users.
During the development of the Hand-in-Scan hand hygiene monitoring system, the engineer team maintained a tight, exemplary cooperation with the design team. The collaboration began after the preparation and validation of the initial functional prototypes. The technical development encouraged upgrades in design and in certain cases, engineering decisions were influenced by the shape and form of the device. The Hand-in-Scan project proved that design is not mere aesthetics, but also a question of function. The design greatly affects how users will relate to the product, and this determines the usability as well.
The HandInScan Ltd. was founded in 2012 at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) as a spin-off company. In 2014, the team completed a clinical prototype of the “Hand-in-Scan” system, which has been tested with more than 15 thousand healthcare workers. The development was made in cooperation with BME and the AustrianCenter for Medical Innovation and Technology (ACMIT). The system has already won several awards for innovation and business development."

Friday, September 25, 2015

ALF-X was acquired by TransEnterix

  • "TransExterix has acquired the surgical robotics division of SOFAR S.p.A. in a $99.8m deal with an immediate access to sell ALF-X in 30 countries.
  • ALF-X is addressing the middle price range offering for surgical robotics. The untapped market opportunity is over 5,000,000 surgical operations annually - a multi-billion dollar market.
  • Cash flow breakeven might occur as early as in 2018.
  • We believe TransEnterix will be a good investment for those able to hold for 5 years." 
"Research Triangle Park, NC-based based TransEnterix (NYSE: TRXC) has already developed its own robotic surgical system for minimally invasive laparoscopic surgical procedures. The SOFAR deal gives TransEnterix another minimally invasive surgery system, the TELELAP ALF-X, which has regulatory clearance in the European Union. TransEnterix says the two products together will allow it to target a global market.
At the close of the acquisition Monday, SOFAR received $68.7 million up front—$25 million in cash and 15.5 million shares of TransEnterix stock, valued at $43.7 million based on the $2.81 closing price last Friday. The stock gives SOFAR a 15.5 percent stake in TransEnterix. SOFAR also stands to gain up to $31.1 million in cash, paid upon achievement of milestones negotiated by the companies. TransEnterix will remain headquartered in North Carolina. With the closing of the deal, SOFAR Chief Executive Andrea Biff joins the TransEnterix board of directors."
"The combination of SurgiBot and ALF-X will allow TransEnterix to address a larger market opportunity with compelling patient, surgeon and hospital value."

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Video Wednesday

MedTech has just reported a 137% increase in the sales of its ROSA robot