Computer Motion to enhance ZEUS Robotic Surgical System with MicroWrist technology

Santa Barbara 13 July 2001Computer Motion Inc., an expert and pioneer in medical robotics, has enhanced the ZEUS Robotic Surgeon with MicroWrist technology. With this new version of the ZEUS system, the surgeon uses familiar open surgery movements while performing endoscopic procedures through tiny 5-mm ports. This dramatically increases the ease at which these procedures can be performed.

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"We are very optimistic about the forth-coming results for ZEUS with MicroWrist Technology", commented Robert W. Duggan, Chairman and CEO of Computer Motion. "Surgeon response to this advancement during customer preference testing, hands-on demonstrations at recent surgical meetings, and within clinical settings has been extremely positive."

Douglas Boyd, MD of London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ontario, stated: "The initiation of MicroWrist has substantially facilitated the performance of total endoscopic coronary artery bypass surgery. This technology has the ability to largely overcome the limitations we previously experienced with this challenging procedure."

Mr. Duggan added that the company has designed the ZEUS system with upgradability in mind. "The forty-six ZEUS systems currently in use worldwide can be upgraded to the MicroWrist technology. We expect the majority of our current customers to upgrade. It is anticipated the cost of upgrading will be less than $200.000 per system."

ZEUS with MicroWrist provides a fundamental change in surgeon ease of use and system functionality while maintaining the previous advantages of the ZEUS product platform, which include:

  • 5-mm articulating wrist instruments which mimic open-surgery movements in endoscopic procedures
  • an open platform design that supports easy integration of key complimentary technologies, such as 3D visualisation and bi-polar/ultrasonic devices
  • a small system footprint which provides ample room for the surgical assistant and scrub nurse at the operating table, and
  • lightweight, modular arms that attach separately to the operating table for easy set-up, flexible positioning, rapid disassembly, and portability.

With plans for a product launch in the third quarter of 2001 and a seamless upgrade path for existing customers, the company expects the ZEUS with MicroWrist to have a significant impact on second half revenues. "The low level of ZEUS sales relative to our first half expectations were due in part to the impending third quarter release of ZEUS with MicroWrist", said Mr. Duggan. "The customer feedback for the new ZEUS system is very positive and bodes well for our second half results."

Computer Motion is a high-tech medical device company evolving surgical practices to enhance patient lives. The company develops, manufactures and markets proprietary computer-enhanced and robotic surgical systems, which optimise surgeons' capabilities, improve outcomes, and reduce costs. The company plays a significant role in transitioning the surgical community from current open procedures to increasingly demanded endoscopic procedures.

Products include the voice-controlled Aesop Robotic Endoscope Positioner; the Hermes Control Center, a centralised system which enables the surgeon to voice control a network of "smart" medical devices; and the ZEUS Robotic Surgical System for new minimally invasive microsurgery procedures, such as endoscopic, beating heart bypass surgery.

The Aesop Robotic Endoscope Positioner is the first FDA-cleared surgical robot. The ZEUS Robotic Surgical System is CE-Marked for commercial sale in the European Community. Computer Motion has completed an FDA-approved Phase 1 Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) coronary bypass study and has initiated an IDE mitral valve surgery, general laparoscopic, and thoracic studies with the ZEUS system. Also, the company has begun the second phase of its tubal reanastomosis study.

For more news on ZEUS, you can consult the VMW May 2001 article ZEUS robot at once involved in lawsuit and in clinical surgery primeur.


Leslie Versweyveld

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