Dutch firm looks to take robotic surgery to next level

  • Sunday 16, September 2018 in 2:37 PM
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: Robotic surgery and robotically-assisted surgery have become increasingly widespread in recent years. At the cutting edge of this technology is Eindhoven Medical Robotics, a Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) related start-up, Jim Drury reports.
Minimally-invasive robotic surgery and robotically-assisted surgery is becoming more widespread.
 
The practice isn't without its critics, partly due to its expense.
 
Eindhoven Medical Robotics wants its next generation of equipment to help cut those costs.
 
RoboSculpt is a skull drilling robot which they hope could perform human surgeries within five years.
 
Jordan Bos, Eindhoven Medical Robotics, says, "Existing surgical robots are not really robots, it's more a master-slave combination…..But in this case we really have an autonomous robot or it's more supervised autonomous because the surgeon makes a plan beforehand and you, of course, have to check it and approve it but then the robot can do parts of it alone."
 
This steerable catheter aims to speed up open-heart surgery.
 
Rolf Gaasbeek, Eindhoven Medical Robotics, says: "We can do more surgeries minimally invasive, and as such people have to spend less time in the hospital and actually have less complications with their treatments. Additionally we can steer this catheter remotely, so I know a lot of surgeons really are worried about their health risk. So they have five times more chance of getting cancer than you or me. But actually they don't have to be next to the patient in the X-ray source but they can just be in another room or behind a sheet."
 
This researcher has created a new technique for deep-brain stimulation treatments on Parkinson's patients, among others.
 
His new adaptor disc gives the performing surgeon a fixed reference point, using MRI. 
 
Marc Janssens, Eindhoven Medical Robotics, says: "What I came up with for that goal is to include an MRI reference during the MRI scan which not only acts as an optical visual reference in that scan data but also as a mechanical reference for the instrument."
 
The company says it could allow brain surgeons with less experience of DBS operations to perform them.
 
It hopes to start pre-clinical trials on all three devices soon.