SMIT meeting in Sinaia

This year, the 21st Conference of the Society for Medical Innovation and Technology took place in Sinaia, Transylvania. The picturesque town up in the Carpathian hills used to be home of the Romanian king, and kept its wonderful charm for the 300 attendees. Most participants came from the EU, but a great number of professionals came from overseas as well, including Rick Satava. The general audience was a healthy mixture of engineers and physicians, therefore the talks were various. Many case studies were presented with the use of the 3 Romanian da Vincis, and Greg Weinstein from UPenn showed extensive results with Intuitive's 5 mm throat instruments. A group from the University of Eindhoven showed many of their CIS research. An entire section was dedicated to the latest achievements of two big EU FP7 projects, the ARAKNES, led by Paolo Dario's CRIM Lab in Pisa, and the Vector, headed by the Norwegian SINTEF R&D company. Both projects aim for the creation of effective micro-robots for the GI tract.
Posters represented a wide spectrum as well from the introduction of the healthcare system in Armenia to our prelimirany results with the Apollo surgical trainer. The abstract book is available here.
The exhibition area was in the splendid atrium of the former Casino, with OR lights and HD endoscopes everywehre. A shift was observable from the hype around NOTES towards SILS and LESS (Laparo-Endoscopic Single-Site surgery). Many of the exhibitors presented new tools for these appraches, including Storz and Olympus. The Tuebingen Group's Radius system made a very good impression on me: it redefines the way laparoscopic tools are used, allowing for the control of a remote wrist at the tip.


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