Robots get set to operate on Middle East patients

Minimally invasive surgery, carried out by intelligent, speech-commanded, robotic tools, will soon be a reality in the Middle East.

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By  Justin Etheridge Published  December 23, 2000

Minimally invasive surgery, carried out by intelligent, speech-commanded, robotic tools, will soon be a reality in the Middle East.

Minimally invasive surgery, carried out by intelligent, speech-commanded, robotic tools, will soon be a reality in the Middle East.

In a conference held for professionals working in the Middle East medical sector, and hosted by Computer Motion Inc., the US leader in medical robotics, experts agreed that future surgical procedures would rely more than ever on computers and robotics.

During the session, Computer Motion exhibited a range of products that have helped to perform over 130,000 surgical procedures in the United States and will soon be available in the Middle East: first, the voice-controlled Aesop endoscope positioning system; second, the Hermes centralised control centre, enabling surgeons to voice control a variety of smart devices; and third, the Zeus Surgical system, able to perform microsurgery procedures such as beating heart bypass surgery.

The Zeus system consists of a central console and three-table mounted robotics arms. The right and left arms mimic the actions of the controlling surgeon and perform the actual operation — with superior dexterity and precision.

Penetration of the patient is minimal and the resulting scar is negligible. The third arm provides the surgeon with a view of the operative field.

Computer Motion also took the opportunity to unveil its plans for a permanent office in Dubai. Robert W. Duggan, chairman, Computer Motion, outlined his take on the future: “The region has always been very interesting to us and we have enjoyed supplying the medical sector from afar. However, the time is more than right for Computer Motion to firmly establish its commitment to serving the Middle East. I see no better way of showing this than by establishing a permanent office here.”

Duggan confirmed that initial discussions have taken place with Dubai Internet City.

“I am encouraged by the forward thinking objectives and profile that is DIC and see this as a potential home for our regional office,” he said.

The office would serve as a base to provide specialist training and education for medical professionals, jointly undertaken by UAE education specialists and Computer Motion staff.

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