In the News: Robotics Design from the Drawing Board to the OR

April 25, 2014

Apr 25, 2014

Growth of sales in life sciences robotics was in the double digits in 2013, according to the Robotics Industry Association (RIA). Global annual medical robotic revenues are currently about $4 billion, and are expected to continue to grow at a 12% annual clip, reaching $19.9 billion by 2019. RIA calls surgical robots “revolutionary tools” for surgeons that help transcend human limitations by providing reduced invasion (less trauma), tremor reduction, repeatability, precision and accuracy.

As a new technology advances, innovative thinking can refine performance. Such was the case for a group of researchers at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Seeking to overcome the size, cost and dexterity issues of large, multiple-incision robotics systems, they envisioned a smaller, less-expensive, more nimble device that could perform MIS through a single port of entry into the body, and be moved among operating rooms as needed. The goal was to deliver the advantages of instinctive robotics controls on a compact platform that could be adapted to a wider variety of general surgery operations than is currently available.

Device developers Titan Medical recognized the opportunities presented by the researchers’ single-port concept, tested the academic prototype (at Vanderbilt University, where one of the inventors had relocated it) and licensed the intellectual property (IP) from both universities. As a public company headquartered in Toronto, Titan has a medical advisory board of leading surgeons as well as partnerships with academic institutions and hospitals around the globe.

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