Japan takes motivated plunge into surgery simulation and robot-enhanced interventions

Davis and Tokyo 10 April 2001Integrated Surgical Systems Inc. (ISS), a pioneer in medical robotics and image-directed, semi-autonomous robotic products for surgical applications, has delivered yet another ROBODOC Surgical Assistant System to Japan, making a total seven systems. In turn, a research group from the Nagoya Institute of Technology in Japan has developed a virtual reality system which might be used in simulating surgical procedures.


The researchers have developed a technology which can simulate the spilling of liquid from a cup in real time. When the user moves an actual cup, the computer-generated cup tilts at the same time and spills its liquid contents. This type of technology has promising applications in surgical training systems, simulating operations which include bleeding. It might also be used in virtual reality systems for cooking and marine sports.

Because a moving liquid is constantly changing shape, real time calculation and simulation of such movements is normally difficult. In the new computer algorithm, the liquid is represented by a collection of small particles. This eliminates the need for complicated fluid dynamics calculations.

Surgery simulation and robot-supported medical interventions are rapidly gaining ground in Japan. To date 6 ROBODOC Systems have been installed at major universities and hospitals. "We had projected to have a total of ten ROBODOC Systems operating in Japan in the calendar year 2001. Currently, we are ahead of our planned delivery and installation schedule for the year ", commented Dr. Ramesh Trivedi, President and CEO of Integrated Surgical Systems.

"We are pleased with the rate of acceptance of the technology by the surgeons and hospitals. We believe the upcoming orthopaedic congress in Japan will generate further interest in our products", added Dr. Trivedi. ROBODOC is the robotic surgery system of ISS which is used for total joint arthoplasties. ROBODOC consists of a robotic arm assembly and a PC-based 3D planning station called ORTHODOC. ISS has installed 37 ROBODOC systems worldwide.

The ISS neuro-surgery product, NeuroMate, is the first robotic technology based system for use in stereotactic brain surgery. NeuroMate consists of a robotic arm assembly and a PC-based planning system. NeuroMate also interfaces with other popular planning stations offered by third-party vendors. ISS has installed sixteen NeuroMate systems in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

Integrated Surgical Systems Inc. develops, manufactures, markets, and services computer-controlled, image-directed robotic products for surgical applications. ISS produces the ROBODOC Surgical Assistant System, which is designed for orthopaedic applications. The ROBODOC System has been used to perform successful total hip replacement surgeries on more than 8000 patients worldwide. ROBODOC is currently being marketed in Europe and the Middle East. NeuroMate, an ISS neuro-surgery product, is the first robotic technology for use in stereotactic brain surgery and it has supported to date over 3000 neuro-surgical procedures.

Leslie Versweyveld

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