The robotic drill performs skull surgery 50 times faster than standard procedure
The robotic technology is available from many years, but was only applied to machine world. Now it’s been implemented successfully into medical applications.
Scientists have discovered a robotic drill that can cut the most sensitive brain surgery down from two hours to two and a half minutes.
The machine, developed at the University of Utah, is being hailed as a potential breakthrough in survival for brain patients as the reduced time they spend in surgery will drastically cut the chances of infection.
Researchers say can make one type of complex cranial surgery 50 times faster than standard procedures and is capable of performing complex brain surgeries.
The new robotic drill takes command from surgeon to choose the safest possible route just like Google Maps. The drill can perform complex procedures 50 times faster than standard time required for human.
The machine can reduce the time of surgeries by cutting down the time it takes to cut into the skull from two hours to two and a half minutes.
Dr William Couldwell, neurosurgeon at University of Utah, she said: “It was like doing archaeology. We had to slowly take away the bone to avoid sensitive structures.
“We knew the technology was already available in the machine world, but no one ever applied it to medical applications.”
Dr A.K. Balaji an assistant professor in mechanical engineering, who also worked on the drill said, “The software lets the surgeon choose the optimum path from point A to point B, like Google Maps”.
“Think of the barriers like a construction zone. You slow down to navigate it safely.” He added.
The developing team is now working to commercialise the drill, either alone or by partnering with a medical device manufacturer. Couldwell the developing team member estimates it will go to market in one to two years.
The device is expected to cost $100,000 or less. That would be quite cost effective over time, Couldwell said,because it’s extremely expensive to run an operating room.
“If it saves two and a half hours per case, that’s a significant amount of savings over time,” he said.