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 normal in trendy superior hospitals. It took Intuitive about 30 years to realize this standing, however there are techniques from J&J, Medtronic, CMR Surgical, and others which are chipping away on the firm’s dominance. All of those techniques function beneath the “master-slave” idea, which entails a surgeon sitting behind a console, away from the affected person, who manipulates the mechanical arms of the robotic by way of some sort of joystick-like gadget.
Due to type assist from Biomed Israel, the main worldwide Life Science and HealthTech convention in Israel (see extra under), we met with Ronen Castro, the CEO of Human Xtensions on the firm’s places of work in Netanya, Israel.
Ronen advised us about Dr. Amir Szold, a number one laparoscopic surgeon in Israel, who instructed making a laparoscopic hand-held gadget 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 current robotic techniques doesn’t ship actual advantages, as a substitute complicating issues and creating prices. He imagined distilling out the useful ideas of surgical robots right into a small, simple to make use of gadget that laparoscopic surgeons can undertake rapidly.
Human Xtensions, based on account of this concept, because of its multi-disciplinary staff of engineers, created the distinctive HandX system. It has the identical levels of freedom because the bigger robots, however in a hand-held gadget that may be rapidly adopted by laparoscopic surgeons, and which doesn’t require the surgical workers to seriously change how one can prep for and carry out current procedures.
We had an opportunity to check out manipulating a pair laparoscopic instruments utilizing the HandX. The gadget seems 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 techniques, Human Xtensions’ expertise can be utilized in all kinds of belly surgical procedures, similar to GI, hernia, collorectal, thoracic, and many others.
This new approach 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, because of vital price reductions, all whereas providing surgeons capabilities beforehand solely accessible from very costly robotic techniques. Furthermore, there’s potential for this expertise to encourage extra surgeons to undertake the minimally invasive method, as about 50% of surgical procedures within the U.S. are nonetheless performed in an open trend.
Presently, 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 arms, 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 way more accessible to extra physicians and make it relevant to a higher number of procedures. Curiously, the gadget has the choice to reverse the tilting of articulated suggestions of its gadgets for those 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 trade. Due to its tiny home market, Israeli corporations sometimes 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 international locations it’s working with native distributors.
Whereas the primary merchandise from Human Xtensions are are already being made accessible to surgeons, the corporate claims that it has an ongoing R&D pipeline that ought to end in extra “endo-robotic surgical” gadgets. Curiously, resulting from FDA’s regulatory methodology, surgical robots need to be accredited for particular indications by the company. The HandX gadget, not being in the identical regulatory class, doesn’t have such limitations and is the one robotic assisted surgical gadget in the marketplace that doesn’t want particular indications. So it will probably instantly be used for basic surgical procedure, bariatric surgical procedure, colorectal, urology, gynecology, and many others. Furthermore, the required coaching to get proficient with the gadget is just a few hours, in contrast to 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 features contained in the physique because the da Vinci.” A lovely proposition in a world wherein expertise has contributed considerably to the distancing of physicians from their sufferers, normally resulting in unfavourable negative effects.
With the intention to be most engaging to totally different sizes of clinics, Human Xtensions makes its merchandise accessible for outright buy, but in addition as a subscription mannequin wherein the clinic pays on a per-procedure foundation, an choice that minimizes capital investments. This could profit smaller services that don’t carry out lots of procedures, and the choice comes with on-site help, coaching, and the like.
Quite a lot of medical research have been carried out with the HandX, and physicians have given optimistic critiques of the system, indicating that there’s potential for substantial adoption of this product.
Right here’s a superb video of the HandX utilized in medical apply:
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 Might 16-18, 2023 in Tel Aviv, and matters vary from medical robotics, to bio-convergence, to the affect of AI on biopharma. Over 6,000 trade leaders, scientists, engineers, physicians, and traders can 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 trade 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 can be exhibiting off their merchandise and applied sciences to attendees from all around the world. Extra information will be discovered on the Biomed Israel website. The convention is co-chaired by Ruti Alon, Founder and CEO of Medstrada, Ora Dar, PhD, Senior Professional, Medical Sciences and Well being Innovation, and Nissim Darvish, MD, PhD, Managing Associate, Eliraz Ventures.