The British innovative company CMR Surgical has introduced its next-gen robotic surgery system. It is currently being licensed and is planned to be involved in real operations in the nearest future.
Versius robot is going to compete its American counterpart da Vinci which has been a monopolist in the robotic surgery field for a long time. The developers claim that due to a more compact size Versius has more flexibility than its chief competitor and is able to carry out a wider range of operations.
Versius owns several independent hands that can be easily tuned for different operations. The ability to perform different manipulations simultaneously makes the machine a really cost-effective tool.
Each robot has flexible joints, similar to human ones. The ‘hands’ of the robot can be controlled by the surgeon with a help of joystick and monitor. Such operation applies laparoscopic method of surgery, when operations on internal organs are carried out through very small incisions. It results in less pain and faster recovery compared with conventional surgery.
It takes over 80 hours of training for a surgeon to learn laparoscopic surgery method, while many specialists believe that this technique is impossible to master at all. With a help of Verisus robotic system an average surgeon will be able to perform laparoscopic operations after 30 minutes of training.
The current leader in the field of robotic surgery is the da Vinci system, created by the Californian company Intuitive Surgical. In the UK da Vinci robots have been used since 2001 and there are around 4,500 of such robots around the world. The validity of da Vinci most important patents have recently expired, so many new players appeared in the field of robotic surgery in the last few years.
For example, Google is partnering with several medical equipment manufacturers to connect all the robotic systems via Internet and allow them to use methods of machine learning to improve their skills and share experience. Another manufacturer of medical equipment Medtronic is working on its own type of robotic surgeon which is to be presented in 2019.
The excitement of competition in robotic surgery will significantly improve the technological advancement and the quality of medical services as a result. The robots of a new generation are going to be more universal, compact and cheap, which expands the possibilities for their application. We hope that the times when even smaller local clinics could offer themselves using a robotic surgery system are not that far away.