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Innovative Austrian robotic system for greater precision in neurosurgery


The Austrian company iSYS Medizintechnik has unveiled an innovative robotic system for micro-invasive surgical interventions. The device increases precision during brain surgery while also reducing the duration of operations.

iSYS 1, a miniature robot developed by iSYS Medizintechnik , is due to be launched on the market by mid-2018. The basic system has been designed as a platform and has already been certified in Europe and the USA. iSYS Medizintechnik has joined forces with the US medical technology group Medtronic for the joint venture and is also part of the Austrian Center for Medical Innovation and Technology (ACMIT). The clinical partner for neurological applications is Professor Wolfsberger of Vienna’s University Clinic for Neurosurgery.

From initial concept all the way to licensing, iSYS Medizintechnik has been involved at every stage of development. There are some truly technological innovations in use throughout, all of which have been appropriately patented. The company’s aim is to produce robotic systems for minimally and micro-invasive surgery that reduce operating times, enhance precision (and thus safety) and guarantee the patient a low-impact surgical intervention. To ensure wide adoption of the device, the purchase price is also pitched considerably lower than that of current large-scale surgical robots, and making it affordable even for medium-sized hospitals.

The entire system fits into a suitcase: the robot itself, which can be fitted with a wide range of accessories, is not much larger than a paperback and is thus far more compact that other systems. Planning and calculation of target data is carried out using a planning software package based on computed tomography imaging. During an operation, an instrument guide can be used to locate a range of different accessories (biopsy needles, depth electrodes, ablation needles or catheters) precisely within the body.

A clinical neurosurgery study has already seen the miniature robot used successfully with 150 patients. Although it assists with surgery and helps by guiding instruments, the system does not function autonomously; the surgeon is always in control. The system is currently employed in radiology, but should also be in use for neurosurgery by the autumn of 2018.