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

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Indian MAXIO system

The Indian Perfint Healthcare Corporation has just released its MAXIO system, the newest in the line of award-winning robotic devices for IGS. (ROBIO was launched in January.) MAXIO is an integrated planning, navigation and robotic targeting system for CT Guided tumor ablation. "It combines tumour visualisation in 3D and procedure planning with robotic targeting that helps clinicians achieve consistent procedure quality. With visualisation, planning and needle placement key to delivering thermal or other energy beams to blast the tumour, the Maxio helps clinicians perform the ablation procedure safely and with consistent quality outcomes. MAXIO was developed through support under the BIPP scheme of the Department of Biotechnology and meets the best-in-class standards globally. The product complies with CE marking requirements."
Previously, a CT-guided system--PIGA--was developed for drug delivery and pain management.
"PIGA (Precise Intelligent Guiding Arm) is a software driven device mounted on the ground by the side of the CT table. CT images acquired in DICOM format are sent to PIGA console where the radiologist marks the target point and the point of entry on the image, and enters the length of the needle to be used. With the click of a button, the arm is set to move over the patient. A needle-holder at the end of the device accepts the needle, which when pushed with the hand ensures that the needle is inserted only up to the desired point.
Highlights of the system:
  • Decision on optimal points to place electrodes and antennae into large tumours for complete and quick overlapping ablations 
  • Accuracy of needle placement 
  • The radiation dose to the patient is minimis ed by reduction in the number of needle passes
  • Drastically reduces procedural pain and discomfort 
  • Radiologist is not exposed to any radiation, as needle insertion is done without real-time imaging"
Check out some case studies, or their image gallery!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

CIS news

  • Dual snake-like arms with multiple DoF and a 3D controllable camera
  • Can be deployed into body cavity through a Ø15mm skin incision
  • Automated instrument tracking system
  • Enabling triangulation of the instruments
  • Positioning of the instrument tips in the middle of the surgical field

Monday, August 20, 2012

ISO/IEC JWG for medical robot safety standards

After the Medical Robotics workshop at PoliMi, the 4th meeting of the medical robot safety study group was held.
Just as before, I took part in the ISO/TC 184/SC 2/JWG 9 work as a national deleguate. This is the standing joint committee of the International Standardization Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) aiming to develop a new collateral standard for medical robot safety. The rest stands for:
  • TC 184: Technical Committee on Automation Systems and Integration
  • SC 2: Sub-Committee on Robots and Robotic Devices
  • JWG 9: Joint Work Group on Standard for Medical Robots (with WG 7 & IEC/SC 62A).
Most of the discussions were about the identification of additional risks and hazards the Degree of Autonomy (DoA) introduces in the OR. (DoA being defined along the ALFUS workgroup's concept.) It is essential to define the risks in the future standard  to provide strategies for risk mitigation. For personal care robots, the proposed safety requirements (created by the ISO TC 184/ SC2 / JWG7) are based on machine safety guidelines (defined by the EC’s Machinery Directive in Europe) whereas medical robots’ standardization guidelines (are defined by the EC’s Medical Device Directive in Europe) need basic safety and essential performance requirements—yet to be formulated. The key difference is that some analysis of risk–benefit posed to the patient needs to be carried out in medical applications. Especially with invasive systems (surgical robots), this can be a major factor. One example could be the delicate and accurate dissection and handling of advanced stage brain tumors.

The next meeting will be held in Seoul, Korea:
  • ISO TC 184/SC 2/WG 7 (Personal care safety), Oct. 15(Mon) – 19(Fri)
  • ISO TC 184/SC 2 and IEC SC 62A JWG 9 (Medical electrical equipment and systems using robotic technology), Oct. 22(Mon) – 24(Wed)
  • ISO TC 184/SC 2/WG 8 (Service robots), Oct. 22(Mon) – 23(Tue) AM
  • ISO TC 184/SC 2/WG 8/Study Group on Modularity, Oct. 23(Tue) PM – 24(Wed)
  • ISO TC 184/SC 2/WG 1 (Vocabulary and characteristics), Oct. 24(Wed).
If you are interested joining the meetings, contact you national ISO liasion officer.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Call for papers #2

Only two weeks left!    

Special Issue of full papers and short communications on 
Artificial Intelligence Methods in Telesurgery
  • Submissions due: August 31, 2012
  • Publication date: February 2013 
Editor-in-Chief: K.- P. Adlassnig
Guest Editor: T. Haidegger 

Elsevier journal Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (AIIM) is pleased to announce a Special Issue of research   papers  on “Artificial Intelligent Methods  in Telesurgery” to be published in February 2013 (tentative). AIIM publishes articles from a wide variety of interdisciplinary perspectives concerning the theory and practice of artificial intelligence in medicine, human biology and health care.  The Special Issue will contain  five to seven research articles, methodological reviews  and survey papers  from the domain of telesurgery, introduced by a guest editorial.

Scope and topics of the SI: 
•  AI-based control methods for robotic telesurgery systems
•  AI-based solutions to deal with latency in telesurgery
•  AI-based clinical decision support in telesurgery applications
•  intelligent devices and instruments
•  intelligent human–machine interfaces for telesurgery devices
•  AI-based skill assessment in telesurgery 
•  efforts towards automated robotic surgery 
• methodological, philosophical, ethical, and social issues of AI in telesurgery. 
For more details and the Instruction for Authors, see the complete Call!
Or simply contact me.

Friday, August 10, 2012

How Surgeons and Engineers Can Communicate Better

Medgadget editor Dan Buckland's followup thoughts after the recent  IDEAS (Innovation, Design, and Emerging Alliances in Surgery) Symposium on Surgical Robotics. (You can watch the video here.) 
"...The surgeons were looking for better ways to do tasks using skills they already had, while the engineers were offering different skills that would (hopefully) accomplish the same tasks...
In the other direction, surgeons should realize that when they go looking for an academic engineer to solve a problem, that engineers don’t think in terms of differentials and that they are not going to automatically accept that the surgeons’ way of doing things is optimal."

Source: Medgadget

Sunday, August 5, 2012

CIS news

Image credit: Corindus, Tampa Bay Hospital

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Intl. Workshop on Medical Robotics at PoliMi

Just a week after BioRob, we had the pleasure to be back to Italy, hosted by the Politecnico di Milano (the great group of Prof. Ferrigno), within the frames of the one-day International Workshop on Medical Robotics. This was organized in conjunction with the ISO TC184 JWG9 standardization committee's (on Safety Regulations for Medical Robots) most recent meeting. (A later post will cover that as well.) The workshop was covering various areas of medical robotics, and also scheduled time for some panel discussion at the end. You can access all presentations below, or on the workshop's website:
  • "Robot standardization" by Prof. Gurvinder S Virk
  • "Machinery Directive vs Medical Device Directive"by Cornelia Beck and Saeed Zahedi
  • "Why standardisation?" by Carol Herman
  • "Regulators view on medical robots" by Capt. Karen Siegel
  • "Medical Robots in USA" by Prof Marco Zenati
  • "The da Vinci surgical system" by Mike Yramategui
  • "Medical robots in France" by Prof. Philippe Poignet
  • "Medical robots in Japan" by Dr Kiyoyuki Chinzei
  • "Medical robots in Central Europe" by Tamas Haidegger
  • "Radio therapy systems" by Thomas Jakob
  • "Robotic Surgery and Rehabilitation" by Prof Jeon Il Moon
  • "Rehabilitation Robots" by Burkhard Zimmermann
  • "Medical robots in UK" by Prof Peter Brett
  • "Medical Robots in Italy" by Prof Arianna Menciassi and Elena Troia PhD
  • "A surgeon's view on medical robots" by Prof. Raffaele Pugliese