Surgical robotics is dominated by varied variations of the da Vinci system from Intuitive Surgical, a reliable however costly device that’s turn into a regular in fashionable superior hospitals. It took Intuitive about 30 years to realize this standing, however there are programs from J&J, Medtronic, CMR Surgical, and others which can be chipping away on the firm’s dominance. All of those programs function beneath the “master-slave” idea, which includes a surgeon sitting behind a console, away from the affected person, who manipulates the mechanical arms of the robotic by way of some type of joystick-like system.
Because of variety help from Biomed Israel, the main worldwide Life Science and HealthTech convention in Israel (see extra beneath), we met with Ronen Castro, the CEO of Human Xtensions on the firm’s places of work in Netanya, Israel.
Ronan informed us about Dr. Amir Szold, a number one laparoscopic surgeon in Israel, who instructed making a laparoscopic hand-held system that has the articulation options of the present robots, however retains the surgeon with the affected person. He felt that a lot of the expertise in present robotic programs doesn’t ship actual advantages, as a substitute complicating issues and creating prices. He imagined distilling out the helpful ideas of surgical robots right into a small, simple to make use of system that laparoscopic surgeons can undertake shortly.
Human Xtensions, based because of this concept, due to its multi-disciplinary crew of engineers, created the distinctive HandX system. It has the identical levels of freedom because the bigger robots, however in a hand-held system that may be shortly adopted by laparoscopic surgeons, and which doesn’t require the surgical employees to transform prep for and carry out present procedures.
We had an opportunity to check out manipulating a pair laparoscopic instruments utilizing the HandX. The system appears futuristic and at first the controls appear awkward and unfamiliar. However as soon as it’s positioned into your hand, the controls don’t want a lot explaining and turn into second nature virtually instantly. For instance, the actions of the jaws of the grasper mimic how your fingertips push onto the tabs of the controller, following alongside as you squeeze and launch. Pan and tilt of the wrist does the identical on the articulated distal tip.
Instruments that may be snapped out and in of the controller can have as much as 8 levels of freedom, of which 4 are motorized and 4 are guide. And they’re small instruments, all being a diameter of 5 mm in comparison with da Vinci’s smallest being 8 mm, making them a bit much less invasive and leaving a smaller pores and skin mark. As different laparoscopic programs, Human Xtensions’ expertise can be utilized in all kinds of stomach surgical procedures, reminiscent of GI, hernia, collorectal, thoracic, and so forth.
This new method of controlling laparoscopic instruments the corporate describes as “endo-robotic surgical procedure”. Its management sees it as having the ability to disrupt the present market, due to vital price reductions, all whereas providing surgeons capabilities beforehand solely out there from very costly robotic programs. Furthermore, there’s potential for this expertise to inspire extra surgeons to undertake the minimally invasive method, as about 50% of surgical procedures within the U.S. are nonetheless carried out in an open vogue.
At present, the awkwardness of standard laparoscopic instruments retains many physicians from utilizing them in quite a lot of circumstances. Surgeons find yourself manipulating laparoscopic gadgets to the bounds of their very own palms, and this causes fairly a little bit of bodily and psychological stress throughout procedures. The HandX, which mechanizes and motorizes 4 levels of freedom in comparison with standard gadgets, ought to make laparoscopy rather more accessible to extra physicians and make it relevant to a better number of procedures. Curiously, the system has the choice to reverse the tilting of articulated suggestions of its gadgets for people who really feel that to be extra pure.
Take a look at a brief video from Human Xtensions introducing the HandX system:
Human Xtensions is considerably distinctive for an Israeli medtech agency, as it’s unbiased, is publicly traded, with a portfolio of patents, has a product in the marketplace, however which has not been acquired by one of many giant gamers within the business. Due to its tiny home market, Israeli corporations usually find yourself becoming a member of giant conglomerates. Human Xtensions selected to proceed with direct gross sales of its expertise within the U.S. by not too long ago opening an workplace in New Jersey, however in different nations it’s working with native distributors.
Whereas the primary merchandise from Human Xtensions are are already being made out there to surgeons, the corporate claims that it has an ongoing R&D pipeline that ought to lead to extra “endo-robotic surgical” gadgets. Curiously, as a result of FDA’s regulatory methodology, surgical robots need to be authorised for particular indications by the company. The HandX system, not being in the identical regulatory class, doesn’t have such limitations and is the one robotic assisted surgical system in the marketplace that doesn’t want particular indications. So it may instantly be used for basic surgical procedure, bariatric surgical procedure, colorectal, urology, gynecology, and so forth. Furthermore, the required coaching to get proficient with the system is only some hours, not like two weeks or extra for the da Vinci.
The CEO of the corporate describes the expertise of utilizing its merchandise as “nonetheless being a surgeon, by the affected person bedside, however with the identical capabilities contained in the physique because the da Vinci.” A pretty proposition in a world by which expertise has contributed considerably to the distancing of physicians from their sufferers, normally resulting in damaging unintended effects.
As a way to be most tasty to completely different sizes of clinics, Human Xtensions makes its merchandise out there for outright buy, but in addition as a subscription mannequin by which the clinic pays on a per-procedure foundation, an possibility that minimizes capital investments. This may profit smaller services that don’t carry out lots of procedures, and the choice comes with on-site help, coaching, and the like.
A variety of scientific research have been carried out with the HandX, and physicians have given optimistic opinions of the system, indicating that there’s potential for substantial adoption of this product.
Right here’s a wonderful video of the HandX utilized in scientific observe:
Product web page: Human Xtensions HandX…
Biomed Israel, is the main worldwide Life Science and HealthTech convention in Israel. This yr it’s scheduled for Could 16-18, 2023 in Tel Aviv, and matters vary from medical robotics, to bio-convergence, to the influence of AI on biopharma. Over 6,000 business leaders, scientists, engineers, physicians, and traders might be attending for the twenty first consecutive yr of this convention. It’s the largest occasion in Israel that brings collectively Israeli healthcare professionals and business specialists with worldwide colleagues to work for 3 consecutive days on enterprise alternatives, develop partnerships, and to hunt new collaborations. Tons of of Israeli life science corporations might be displaying off their merchandise and applied sciences to attendees from all around the world. Extra data may be discovered on the Biomed Israel website. The convention is co-chaired by Ruti Alon, Founder and CEO of Medstrada, Ora Dar, PhD, Senior Skilled, Medical Sciences and Well being Innovation, and Nissim Darvish, MD, PhD, Managing Accomplice, Eliraz Ventures.