ARTAS hair transplant robot

Hair transplantation has been a time consuming and tidious procedure, therefore very expensive. According to the classical method, skin stripes are cout out from the hairy part, grafts are collected from it and then reiserted in tha bald area. This has been partially rpelaced with the newer technique, the individual collection of folliculi. However, this requires advanced skills and great practice--therefore it calls for robotization! 
The ARTAS system was first reported in 2003, and this spring it has finally received FDA approval. It is capable of automatically identifying the individual folliculi and cut some out randomly, in a minimally invasive manner. Reportedly, it is possible to achieve 500 grafts/hour with the robot, which is practically double the speed of manual harvesting. (Still takes hours to perform a complete session of 1500-2500 grafts.) Also, the robot reduces the proportion of dead (i.e., cut, injured) folliculi to around 10%.
One robot is already at work at Brenstein Medcial Center.

The US patent was granted to Dr. Gildenberg in 2003. Interestingly, it was described on a Neuromate robot.
Back in time, a French company also tried to come up with a similar system, but apparently they never got commercial.


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