Computer Motion's SOCRATES Robotic Telecollaboration System now also 510k FDA-cleared

Santa Barbara 19 December 2001The SOCRATES Robotic Telecollaboration System, developed by Computer Motion Inc., has received a 510(k) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Clearance allowing a remote surgeon access to the pressure readings from the operating room insufflator during telecollaborative and mentoring sessions. The SOCRATES system enables a surgeon located at a remote site to interact with another surgeon located in an operating room down the hall, across the country or on the other side of the world.


Through SOCRATES, the remote surgeon is able to converse with the operative surgeon as well as view video images generated by a number of devices utilised at the operative site, such as an overhead camera or an endoscope. In addition, by leveraging Computer Motion's HERMES OR Control Centre, SOCRATES provides the remote surgeon with the ability to access status and share control of a growing variety of networked surgical devices with the operative surgeon.

"Training and education continue to be the gating items determining the rate at which new minimally invasive procedures are adopted. We continue to integrate SOCRATES with our system of products to provide surgeons with tools which enable, train, and positively impact patient outcomes", stated Robert W. Duggan, Chairman and CEO.

"This clearance is one more step along the pathway to providing a truly collaborative environment for the remote surgeon, in which he or she can be a more active participant in the treatment of the patient. By doing this, Computer Motion enables better surgical training and education for a more effective proliferation of new and improved procedures", added Yulun Wang, PhD, Founder and Chief Technical Officer.

Computer Motion's FDA-cleared products include the ZEUS Robotic Surgical System for new minimally invasive micro-surgery; the HERMES Control Centre, a centralised system which enables the surgeon to voice control a network of "smart" medical devices; and the AESOP Robotic Endoscope Positioner, which was also the first FDA-cleared surgical robot to be made commercially available in the United States.

The company's newest product, the SOCRATES Telecollaboration System, is the first device to be cleared by the FDA in the newly created category of Robotic Telemedicine Devices, and is designed to facilitate surgeon collaboration using video and audio conferencing, shared control of the endoscopic camera, and video annotation on the surgical image in the operating room. The company's products are CE-Marked for commercial sale in the European Community.

More news about the surgical robotic systems developer can be found in the VMW December 2001 article Computer Motion awarded $2 million to combine surgical robotics with telemedicine.

Leslie Versweyveld

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