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Robot Assists Heart Surgeons

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Rob Spiegel
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Re: Plethora of medical-related robots
Rob Spiegel   8/21/2012 12:59:11 PM
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Interesting. So the surgeon doesn't have to learn the technology behind the tool -- just learn the tool. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Plethora of medical-related robots
Ann R. Thryft   8/21/2012 12:46:36 PM
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I'm not quite sure what you're asking. The robot surgical tools are the same ones surgeons use, but much smaller and more finely tuned, so they are more accurate. They can be smaller partly because the surgeons are controlling them through a robot intermediary. They are also accompanied by video cams that give the surgeons closeups of what they're working on. So they are really extensions of the surgeon.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Plethora of medical-related robots
Rob Spiegel   8/21/2012 12:41:12 PM
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Do you see a time, Ann, when technical people -- who may understand the technology better than a surgeon -- are at the controls of this technology? Or, will we see a form of surgical practice that specializes on the use technology?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Plethora of medical-related robots
Ann R. Thryft   8/21/2012 12:19:18 PM
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Rob, in all so-called surgical robots, it's always the surgeons' hands that manipulate the tools. Technically, it should be called robotic-assisted surgery.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Plethora of medical-related robots
Ann R. Thryft   8/21/2012 12:17:39 PM
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Beth, I think the answer is yes. Meaning, a combination of several factors. For one thing, the story I wrote on the open source Raven II surgical robot
http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=239419
and NASA's use of the daVinci surgical robot
http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=237609
made it clear that surgical robotics technology is being applied to a variety of applications. Next, the open source Robotic Operating System (ROS), which Raven II is based on, and open source robotics in general, are taking off, broadening the types of surgery robotic assistance is being aimed at. And patients, as well as surgeons, are also becoming more accustomed to the idea and the practice.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Plethora of medical-related robots
Rob Spiegel   8/21/2012 12:14:05 PM
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Impressive robot, Ann. Sounds like the robots movements are finer than a surgeon's hands. Is it still the surgeon who manipulates the robot? It would be interesting to see in coming year whether technicians will control medical robots, thus replacing surgeons -- a new version of the machine versus the human body.

Beth Stackpole
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Plethora of medical-related robots
Beth Stackpole   8/21/2012 7:38:34 AM
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Cool development, Ann. It does seem like you (and others) have been writing a ton about medical-related robotics technology lately. Have we turned the tide on some particular piece of technology or perhaps a cultural shift that signals this segment is more ready to embrace this kind of technology?

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