medical haptics

The extensive know-how of surgeons is often limited by their primary tool – their hands. Robots face the reverse problem: they are capable of much greater precision and dexterity than the human hand, yet cannot carry out surgical tasks autonomously and need to be controlled by surgeons.

Adding robotic precision to a doctor's skills combines the best of both worlds, and brings many benefits to both diagnostic and interventional systems, ranging from patient safety to procedure success rate, as well as facilitating medical training. When surgeons hold highly advanced, multi-degrees-of-freedom haptic interfaces, they are fully in control of the surgical instruments while also benefiting from the high-precision and scaling ability of the robotic tools. By integrating such tools with multiple sources of information already available in the OR (planning, imagery, etc.), the system can overlay visual and tactile guidance information to the surgeon in real-time, thus preventing unwanted tool behavior and locally enhancing the gesture precision.

With the pressing needs for innovative medical robotic applications, Force Dimension has been deeply involved in the development and manufacturing of the first commercial haptic device to be ever used in the operating room. Force Dimension’s highly advanced hardware solutions have also been complemented over the years with various software technologies for real-time control, haptic rendering and 3D imaging.


image courtesy of Hansen Medical


Medical Applications

Among the medical robotics applications that are currently used in hospitals today, the Sensei™ Robotic Catheter System from Hansen Medical uses computerized catheter actuation technology to provide stable and predictable control of catheter movement. This innovative technology is designed to provide fine guide catheter control in three dimensions, to enhance the physician's ability to access hard to reach anatomy, repeat procedure steps, and maintain stability during interventional procedures. The Sensei™ Robotic Catheter System uses the 3-dof omega.medical haptic device to precisely control the tip of the catheter. Force feedback information is provided to the operator in real-time to achieve optimal surgical results, while maintaining absolute patient safety.


Swiss Design and Engineering

In collaboration with its medical partners, Force Dimension has successfully customized, integrated and certified its haptic hardware and software technology into some of the most critical surgical robotic applications. To consistently meet such high standards, Force Dimension carefully controls every step involved in the design, engineering and manufacturing of all of its systems, and routinely works with some of the most qualified and talented R&D teams from a wide range of medical industries and research institutions.


image courtesy of DLR



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