04 May 2008

Robo-Surgeon Joined By Robo-Anesthesiologist

How long before we have an "all-robot" operating room? Not so long, perhaps. McGill University researchers have developed a robotic anesthesiologist that recently provided anesthesia for a human undergoing partial nephrectomy.
The anesthetic technique was used on a patient who underwent a partial nephrectomy, a procedure that removes a kidney tumor while leaving the non-cancerous part of the kidney intact, over a period of 3 hours and 30 minutes....the automated system measures three separate parameters displayed on a new Integrated monitor of anesthesia (IMATM): depth of hypnosis via EEG analysis, pain via a new pain score, called AnalgoscoreTM, and muscle relaxation via phonomyographyTM, all developed by ITAG. The system then administers the appropriate drugs using conventional infusion pumps, controlled by a laptop computer on which “McSleepy” is installed. Using these three separate parameters and complex algorithms, the automated system calculates faster and more precisely than a human can the appropriate drug doses for any given moment of anesthesia.... An additional feature is that the system can communicate with personal digital assistants (PDAs), making distant monitoring and anesthetic control possible. In addition, this technology can be easily incorporated into modern medical teaching programs such as simulation centers and web-based learning platforms. __Eurekalert
Robotic surgeons have been accepted by most human patients, so it is likely that robotic anesthesiologists will likewise be welcomed. The increased precision provided by robotic actuators and sensors may relegate operating room personnel to the roles of supervisors and occasional troubleshooters.

Don't be surprised to see robots trundling down hospital ward hallways the night before surgery, doing the pre-op rounds for both surgeons and anesthesiologists.

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Blogger SwampWoman said...

Yow. I think I prefer my doctor and anesthesiologist to be alive.

It can get really ugly when machines malfunction.

Sunday, 04 May, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

For the test case there were likely three or more anesthesiologists watching every "decision" the robo-anesthetist made, plus two or more robotics specialists.

The nice thing about this technology is that a trained paramedic can place the iv's and ET tube and an anesthetist can monitor the machines actions from a distance electronically. This could put skilled anesthesia much farther into the field than we normally expect. Eventually, the same may be true for robo-surgeons as well. The robo-surgeons would be much bulkier and more delicate, though.

Sunday, 04 May, 2008  
Blogger LA Nickers said...

Space-Age Surgery!?!



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Sunday, 04 May, 2008  

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