Robotic surgery has the potential to transform the medical landscape like few other innovations. Robotics allow for a level of precision and control that far exceeds human capabilities. When properly realized, this can translate to fewer complications and improved outcomes for patients. However, a surgical robot is a complex medical device, requiring seamless integration of multiple subsystems, an intuitive and well-designed user experience, and excellent reliability. Key Tech’s expertise in mechanical, electrical, software and UI design can help to make robotic surgery products a reality.
Surgical robots can be divided into two major categories bases on the control method. The more familiar implementation is similar to laparoscopic surgery, where the surgeon stands next to the patient. Typically, a camera inserted into the patient streams a live feed to a monitor, providing visual feedback to the surgical staff. Instead of traditional laparoscopic tools, remote robotic manipulators (also known as a telemanipulators) are used to translate the surgeon’s actions into motion of the tools. Other systems provide a user interface that is separated from the robot itself. This can allow for more customized controls and gives the surgeon a more immersive perspective. Additionally, with advancements in telemedicine, such systems have the potential to allow for remote surgeries when the patient and surgeon cannot be brought together.
Maintaining sterility in the operating room is an especially difficult challenge when intricate, reusable devices are involved. Many robotic surgery devices have durable and disposable components to help mitigate this risk. Key Tech has wide-ranging experience in designing both durable and disposable components, and can help to ensure that the interface between the two is seamless and dependable. In the past, we have even helped to design custom-formed surgical drapes to accommodate such interfaces. When using disposables is not feasible, products can be designed with sterilization methods such as EtO in mind.
In addition to our experience working on robotic surgery products in the past, our work in automation, sample preparation, and other medical devices translates well to robotics. Different actuation options, such as stepper motors, servos, DC motors, and solenoids all have unique considerations and tradeoffs that need to be considered. The drive circuitry and firmware for these actuators also often must be customized, especially in a device where space is at a premium and exceptional precision and reliability are required. At Key Tech, we have experience working with many of the major actuator vendors and have incorporated their products into medical devices alongside our PCBs and firmware in the past.
As invasive medical devices, robotic surgical instruments are also subject to regulations and standards such as IEC 60601. With our extensive background in medical device design and project management, including verification and validation, Key Tech can help to ensure that there will be no regulatory safety standard concerns once device design is complete.
If you have a robotic surgery application, we would love to hear about it. Contact Us.