Posted on Feb 22, 2019, 7 p.m.
Bill gates has invested $10 million towards innovative development of tiny camera guided surgical robots which can be placed inside the body via small incision and controlled by a surgeon anywhere in the world using VR technology.
The new technology uses a combination of virtual reality and miniscule robots to carry out minimally invasive surgery in a new groundbreaking concept. These small human like bots consist of a head and two arms which are controlled by the surgeon as they move their own arms; the head holds the camera and serves as the surgeon’s eyes to see inside the patient body enabling the procedure to be conducted from within.
In theory such operations could be carried out from hundreds of miles away, anywhere in the world, providing that there is a good internet connection. The concept is based on the surgeons feeling like they have been miniaturized small enough to fit and be transported into a patient body. This technological approach potentially has the ability to cut cost of major surgeries, bridge the distance gaps/travel/time, and provide access to the best surgeons in the world regardless of location.
The company developing the cutting edge technology, Vicarious Surgical, announced funding from the Gates Frontier mid February 2019, saying the investment helps to get them one step closer to long term goals of bringing the technology to patients in remote parts of the world.
“If you put all the motion inside the abdominal cavity you are not confined to motion around incision sites”, says Adam Sachs, co-founder of the Massachusetts based company. Robots needed to perform today’s robotic surgeries cost $2 million, putting it out of most hospital budgets, however by making them much smaller the technology will be more widely available; and in the long term it’s about democratization of surgery that can come from robotics.
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