by Jia-Jheng Yeh
[Robotic Arm] Robotic Surgical Arms in Medical Applications
With the advent of the AI era, the medical industry has also begun to use data analysis to develop surgical robots. The following is an introduction of the application of surgical robots in the medical field.
Robotic surgical system
A robotic surgical system consists of 3 components: a mobile cart, a console for the surgeon to control the robotic arm, and an imaging cart. Unlike traditional surgery or endoscopic surgery, a robotic surgical system includes:
- an HD camera in 3D quality which replaces the traditional 2D laparoscopic imaging, allowing the surgeon to have a 3D vision to operate the equipment with accuracy.
- The surgical system, modeled after the human wrist, can simulate movements of human hands, including rotating, grasping, pinching, etc., and can perform surgery in small spaces that human hands or laparoscopic instruments cannot reach.
- The special console used by the surgeon to operate sophisticated robotic arms and 3D endoscope has become a handy tool to perform minimally invasive surgery.
Da Vinci Surgical System
The da Vinci Surgical System, which is widely used in obstetrics and gynecology as well as urology, features automated navigation that constructs clear 3D images through AI programming for the surgeon. The program facilitates the positioning of the robotic arm, so that the arm can move as intended in a body cavity.
The most special part is that the da Vinci System does not need to be built in the operating room with the surgical team and the patient during the operation. Instead, it can be located in a cabin meters away where it controls the robotic arm to perform the operation. The robotic arm features steady positioning, so there is no problem in a surgeon holding a steady hand. The system constructs 3D maps using AI to increase the accuracy of the operation.
ROSA® robotic surgical system
Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common movement disorders in adults. Common symptoms are hand tremor, stiffness of limbs, and slow movements, and they only worsen over time. At times like this, deep brain stimulation (dbs) can be a treatment.
In 2018, Shuang Ho Hospital started using the ROSA robot to perform brain or spine surgery. The robotic arm features six movable joints, which can perform surgery with an accuracy of 0.23mm through precise computer control. There is no need for large incisions nor repeated adjustments of the headrest for the patients. As long as the brain position to be operated is decided beforehand, the success rate can be greatly increased and the operation time shortened.
With the development of science and technology, many people are beginning to worry about whether AI technology will replace doctors in performing surgeries. Although the robotic surgical system brings great convenience, there are still shortcomings, such as the lack of a sense of touch. Therefore, a robotic surgical system merely assists the surgeon in the operation, enhances the efficiency, and reduces the problems caused by human factors in the operation.