The neuroArm - SYMBIS robot

Recently I came across some fine publication on the re-branded neuroArm robot. They introduce new aspects of the great engineering work behind the system. 
There is a nice summary on the robot's history on IMRIS' website:
  • 2002: Funded through several Canadian economic development resources, Project neuroArm was established
  • 2006: Initial patent filed and approved in 2007 (6 additional patents are pending)
  • April 13, 2007: The robot was officially unveiled to the world
  • May 12, 2008: neuroArm used for the first time to remove a brain tumor
  • Feb. 2010: IMRIS acquires NeuroArm technology
  • Oct. 2011: Robotic surgery was a highlight at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS)
  • July 2012: IMRIS unveils neurosurgical robotics program under the SYMBIS Surgical System name
  • August 2012: IMRIS submits initial FDA 510K filing for the SYMBIS Surgical System
By now, the "clinical integration of neuroArm into surgical procedure has been developed over a prospective series of 35 cases with varying pathology. Surgeons used a graded approach to introducing neuroArm into surgery, with routine dissec-tion of the tumor-brain interface occurring over the last 15 cases. The use of neuroArm for routine dissection shows that robotic technology can be successfully integrated into microsurgery. Karnofsky performance status scores were significantly improved postoperatively and at 12-week follow-up."
The publications also disclose some future development directions: "The workstation has the potential to control all operating room technologies and eventually to connect the surgeon to the Internet to access global medical knowledge or to communicate directly with experts at other institutions during surgery. Additionally, the workstation can be used for case rehearsal, which has positive implications for surgeon training, and will develop personalized case cards, making surgical preparations more efficient. Surgeons will be able to gain experience from a virtual environment. Surgeries could be recorded and replayed. All elements of surgery will become measurable; eg, the amount of pressure a surgeon needs to use to cut through a particular type of tissue will be."

Image credit: Neurosurgery


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