Robotics

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Orthopaedics

VR training to improve hip replacement surgery

More than 200,000 patients undergo hip replacement surgery in Germany each year. To avoid complications and extend the lifespan of the artificial joint, the implants must be fitted precisely in the acetabulum (hip socket). The procedure, particularly milling the acetabulum, is not only difficult but also the technique is difficult to teach and train. This is where HIPS…

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More power for interventionists

Combining image-guided diagnosis and robot-assisted treatment

Siemens Healthineers AG took a big step last October. To incorporate treatment along an entire clinical path, the firm acquired Corindus Vascular Robotics, Inc., to combine image-guided diagnosis with robot-assisted surgery. A couple of months later, the Corindus endovascular robotic system CorPath GRX was used to implant a vascular stent into an obstructed coronary artery – the first use of…

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Automated helper

Robot uses AI and imaging to draw blood

Engineers at Rutgers University have created a tabletop device that combines a robot, artificial intelligence and near-infrared and ultrasound imaging to draw blood or insert catheters to deliver fluids and drugs. Their most recent research results, published in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence, suggest that autonomous systems like the image-guided robotic device could outperform people on…

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Assistance in lymphedema treatment

New microsurgery robot shows promise

Supermicrosurgery – operations on vessels ranging from 0.3 to 0.8 millimeters – is limited by the dexterity of the surgeon’s hands. To bypass this limitation, robots can assist in the surgical process. One such robot is MUSA – the world’s first robotic platform for supermicrosurgery, which was co-developed by researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and the TU/e…

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Research award shortlist

Soft cardio-robot and 'Google Maps' of the heart face Big Beat Challenge

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) announced its shortlist of four research projects competing for a single £30 million award. The charity says it is one of many radical new approaches needed to address a frightening mismatch in research funding compared with the burden of heart and circulatory diseases. With the World Health Organization forecasting an increase in cardiovascular deaths…

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Interventional cardiology

First robotic coronary angioplasties in Germany

Robocath, a company that designs, develops and commercializes cardiovascular robotic systems for the treatment of vascular diseases, announces it has successfully completed its first robotic coronary angioplasties with R-One in Germany. The Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI) were performed by Pr Michael Haude, a recognized and highly experienced interventional cardiologist at Rheinland…

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Significant improvement in cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation

Surgical robots must also be hygienic

Modern healthcare without hand hygiene? Inconceivable – particularly in the operating room (OR). But what happens when it is not the surgeon who handles the scalpel, but a robot? Robotic surgery, just like surgery performed by humans, always carries a risk of microbial transmission to the patient, says Professor Johannes K-M Knobloch of University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). A specialist…

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Reference center reports

A new era in minimally invasive robotic surgery

The Protestant Hospital Wesel (EVK Wesel) is one of two reference centres in Germany and one of 25 worldwide for the Senhance Surgical Robotic System from Transenterix. ‘We wanted to be the first in the Lower Rhine region to go to market with a robotic system as we believe that this type of digital surgical assistance represents the future,’ explains Rainer Rabsahl, CEO of the 356-bed…

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Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)

Robotic angioplasty: The future of endovascular interventions

An exciting development from an innovative French company is poised for a major breakthrough in European markets. As is now well-known, coronary angioplasty is a procedure that widens and/or unblocks the arteries to the heart by the insertion and inflation of a balloon and/or stent into the vessel lumen. In modern practice, a stent is normally left in place to ensure the blood flow remains…

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TAITRA at Medica 2019

A vision of Taiwan innovation

A popular proverb in Mandarin goes ‘Hearing something a hundred times is not as good as seeing it once’ (百聞不如一見). Visiting the Taiwan pavilion at this year’s Medica, it’s clear to see that the Bureau of Foreign Trade (MOEA) from Taiwan, together with the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and its foster companies, have taken this sentiment to heart. Seeing…

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Cardiology in Cape Town

First successful robotic coronary angioplasties in Africa

Robocath, a company that designs, develops and commercializes cardiovascular robotic systems for the treatment of vascular diseases, announced it has successfully completed six robotic coronary angioplasties with R-One, a first for the continent of Africa. The Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI) were performed by Dr Faizel Lorgat, an interventional cardiologist at the Netcare Christiaan…

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Medical robotics competition

Early detection of bowel cancer with a magnetic capsule

Five talented robotics specialists were selected by an international jury for the finals of the Kuka innovation competition from among 30 applications from all over the world. For the first time, the focus was put on medical robotics and the topic of “Healthy Living”. Each of the finalists were provided with the sensitive Kuka lightweight robot LBR Med and a 3D vision system from Roboception…

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KUKA Innovation Award

Five Healthy Living finalists selected

Augsburg, Bavaria – Five teams of robotics specialists are finalists in the KUKA Innovation Award 2019 competition. Established in 2014, the Award focuses on medical robotics for the first time, Dr Rainer Bischoff, Vice President Corporate Research at KUKA, one of the judges of the award, explained. Around thirty talented robotics teams from all over the world submitted their concepts and an…

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'ScoliBot' offers superhuman precision

New robots improve spinal straightening

ScoliBot, a new robotic system, could perform spinal surgery to a higher degree of accuracy than human counterparts. Devised by a team from Nottingham Trent University (NTU), the system has two robotic arms that semi-autonomously drill holes in individual vertebrae in procedures to straighten the spines of patients with conditions such as scoliosis or kyphosis. Leading the project, Professor…

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Brain signals control a four-limb robotic system

Tetraplegic moves towards taking walks

Thanks to a four-limb robotic system controlled by brain signals, a patient with a cervical spinal cord injury could walk and control both arms for the first time in a proof of concept. Developed by CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission), the system is driven via the long-term implant of a semi-invasive medical device to record brain activity.

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Trailblazers in medical solutions

Taiwanese excellence on display at Medica

From Augmented Reality to Robotics, and all exciting technologies in between, the Taiwanese companies present at Medica always manage to impress visitors with health tech innovations. In co-operation with the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) of the Taiwanese Ministry of Economics and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), 20 elite healthcare companies put on display their…

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Workflow automation

Loop-X: Imaging robot for spinal surgery

Brainlab recently unveiled its flagship Loop-X mobile intraoperative imaging robot that is specifically designed for spinal surgical procedures. Developed by medPhoton, an Austrian company, the device is now the core of Brainlab’s imaging offerings. The Loop-X robotic architecture introduces a new standard in flexibility, adding additional degrees of freedom to any surgical procedure: By…

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Flexible medical robot accelerates healing

Meet 'Robert', your robotic physio­therapist

Scenario: A physiotherapist arrives in a ward pushing a new device towards a patient in bed. There, she introduces rehabilitation robot Robert and points to its multi-jointed arm. She places a cuff around the patient’s lower leg to link it to Robert’s arm and presses the start button; Robert raises the leg slightly. Manually, the physiotherapist performs movements, which Robert memorises to…

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From the "Asian Silicon Valley"

Taiwan's R&D centers deliver continuous innovation in MedTech

From an initial focus on innovative manufacturing, in-house ICT technologies drove production efficiency and quality. Today, Taiwan has advanced to become a leader with its "Asian Silicon Valley" concept. The government also wants to further strengthen Taiwan's key position by independently developing medical products that meet the high demands of international markets – at…

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Good for some, not all

Robotic surgery: Myths and misconceptions

The first use of a robot-supported surgical intervention was reported in 1985, when the robot arm PUMA 560 placed a needle for a cerebral biopsy using CT guidance. Since then, strong growth in the market for robotic surgery has occurred, due to an increasing automation demand in the healthcare as a whole and greater concentration on minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for faster recovery.…

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Surgical breakthrough in France

Robot enables lumbar spine repair

Is it possible to repair the rachis without having to open the abdomen or the back? A team of French surgeons has done just that. Thanks to minimally invasive robotic surgery, exposing the patient to risky spine interventions may soon be avoidable, a leading surgeon explained. The team of neurosurgeons and vascular surgeons has, for the first time, successfully repaired the lumbar spine with the…

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Controlled and configured by light and magnets

Soft robots: Creating a true transformer

The movement of soft robots can be remotely controlled to lock them into position for as long as needed and later reconfigure them into new shapes. Developed by researchers at North Carolina State University and Elon University, the technique relies on light and magnetic fields. ‘We’re particularly excited about the reconfigurability,’ says Joe Tracy, a professor of materials science and…

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Robotic assistance for middle and inner ear procedures

Cochlear implant microsurgery progresses

Unlike other surgical specialties, ear nose and throat (ENT) has been poorly served by the introduction of robotic platforms to enhance procedures. Since the da Vinci system first gained FDA approval in 2000, robot-assisted surgery has become commonplace in many specialties, including neurology, urology, etc. with numerous other general surgical applications. However, existing systems including…

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Man and machine

Robotic surgery is expanding

Standardisation of robotic surgery procedures is seeing increased usage and improved outcomes for patients and could also play a role in helping with the overall well-being of surgeons in terms of, for example, ergonomic benefits that could reduce repetitive strain injury (RSI) and back conditions. Richard Kerr from the Royal College of Surgeons (England) recently chaired the RCS Commission on…

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