The Da Vinci Surgical System is a large purpose-built robot controlled by a surgeon that performs minimally invasive surgical procedures on patients. The system incorporates an ergonomically designed surgeon’s console, a patient-side module with four interactive robotic arms, each with interchangeable surgical instruments and a 3-dimensional endoscopic vision system. Powered by high-tech supercomputers, the surgeon’s hand movements are scaled, filtered and then converted into precise movements of the surgical attachments.
The designers of the system are a team of doctors, engineers and biomedical engineers at a company called Intuitive Surgical. The motivation that these designers had was to develop a surgical technique that would be minimally traumatic for patients and one that would speed up recovery time. Figure 1: The Da Vinci Surgical System showing the surgeon’s console and the patient-side module. The Industry The Da Vinci robot is part of the Biomedical Engineering industry. The industry is concerned with the application of engineering principles and techniques to the medical field.
It combines expertise from medical and engineering disciplines to improve healthcare systems. The industry is very innovative and most universities now offer training in biomedical engineering. This is because it has always been a highly specialised field and required a designer to have both medical and engineering training and experience. Research and development is a very important aspect of this industry and it is very draining on a company’s funds. Great emphasis is also placed on product placement and marketing.
Though these products are usually marketed towards industry professionals such as doctors and hospital management. The physical location and layout of the enterprise The company is located in the U. S. A in California. Figure 2: The company headquarters Nature of the innovation As mentioned before the Da Vinci robot consists of two parts, the surgeon’s console and a patient-side operating module. Surgeon Console: During an operation the surgeon is seated comfortably at the console while viewing a 3-d image and controlling the robot.
This imaging system allows the surgeon to see an enhanced 3-dimensional view of the operative field and it provides direct eye-hand-instrument alignment and natural depth perception. This is possible through the use of a dual lens endoscope with two high-resolution cameras. Figure 2: The Endoscope with two cameras and a specialised light The image is fed through two independent vision channels that then run through an image processing stabilising computer system. The computer reduces the “noise” of the image and enhances the edges of the objects seen.
The surgeon can also control the movement and zoom of the endoscope camera through hand controls and foot pedals. The resultant image is then projected on a high-resolution 3-D monitor. Figure 3: The 3-D image monitor Control System The surgeon’s fingers crasp onto a joystick-like perpheril instrument which then controls the precise movements of the robotic arms. The device also gives the surgeon a sense of touch by giving feedback as to how hard or how soft the tissue is inside the patient. Figure 4: Control device.
The computer system translates the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movements of surgical instruments inside the patient. Patient-side operating module Operation System The part of the robot that actually performs the operation consists of either three or four robotic arms. It can be configured to have two or three instrument arms and one endoscope arm. Figure 5: The operating module with three operating arms and one endoscope (2nd from the left) These robotic arms are inserted into the patient’s body through small incisions of 1-2cm long.
This is the main advantage of the Da Vinci robot. It is the ability to perform major surgery on a patient without large incisions. The benefits of this are: ·Shorter hospital stay ·Less pain and scarring ·Less risk of infection ·Less blood loss and fewer transfusions ·Faster recovery ·Quicker return to normal activities Surgical attachment system The company has developed a wide range of attachments that can be paced on each of the robotic arms. These are very similar to the normal instruments that a surgeon would use, such as clamps and scalpels. Intuitive surgical has named these attachments Endowrist instruments.
Figure 6: An Endowrist attachment known as the cobra grasper. It is used to secure dense tissue structures such as tumours. Figure 7: Curved Endowrist scissors All the instruments are designed with seven degrees of motion that mimic the dexterity of the human hand and wrist. Also, Each instrument has a specific surgical function such as clamping, stitching and tissue cutting. Quick-release levers speed instrument changes during operations. In summary, the Da Vinci Robot system provides a surgeon with a great deal of control, range of motion, fine tissue handling capability and a 3-D viewing system.
It also allows the doctor to work through tiny incisions that is characteristic of minimally invasive surgery. The Use of Technology The use of technology in this particular innovation is extensive. Several different types of technologies are incorporated into one system to operate effectively. Electronics Electronics and Microelectronics are an integral part of the system. Through computers this technology controls the whole system and maintains the safety and efficiency of the device. Software Intuitive Surgical used CAD computer programs to design their product.
They also used other software to test the product. For example the company used software that simulated a power surge or loss of power. The robot was designed to shut down and stop immediately after any such outside interference, as any damage to the onboard electronics could have devastating effects for the patient. Intuitive surgical employed the software company Novell to develop the programs that would control the robot. Robotics Robotic technology is also a very important part of the overall technological make-up of the system.
Intuitive Surgical opted for existing robotic technology rather than using emerging technologies. The Da Vinci robotic system is almost identical to the system used in the manufacture of cars. The company chose to do this as they where looking for a reliable technology that could be adapted into a medical device. However, major alterations where made to the existing system to improve accuracy of movement, scaling down of movement and safety. Mechanics Mechanics was used in the development of the patient-side module and the Endowrist devices.
Mechanics was incorporated with the robotic and hydraulic aspects of the machine in order to get the most precise movements out of the instruments. Biomedical technology Biomedical technology is essential in ensuring that the device is suitable and safe to use as a medical machine. The robot must be adapted so that it is appropriate for use in a medical scenario. Marketing and promotional strategies This particular innovation is not suitable for mass marketing to the general public. Rather the company markets its product to a number of key potential buyers: Surgeons.
The company approaches senior surgeons at larger hospitals with big spending budgets and introduces them to the new technology. They then show the range of benefits for the patient of and even offer a training course for the doctors, showing them how to use the machine. The company hopes that the surgeons then go to the hospital management on their behalf and lobby to try and acquire the machine. Hospital management The company markets the product to hospital management on the basis that it will save them money. Although the initial investment is large, in the long-term it will save money.
This because the robot greatly decreases the hospital stay of the patient and it also reduces the amount of pain management drugs needed. Government The company, although less frequently, also markets the robot to governments. They outline the patient benefits and the financial benefits. The purpose of this is to place more of these devices in public hospitals that would greatly increase the sales of the product. This is because it is currently mostly used in private hospitals. Quality Control In the medical industry quality control is very important, this because if a device is faulty it may lead to serious injury or death.
The Da Vinci System is no exception to this. Quality control is extremely important for Intuitive Surgical and they have realised the need for highly effective quality control program. The company only manufactures a limited number of units per year as they use an extremely wide range of resources to ensure the quality of the product. The company employs the best industry professionals, use sate-of-the-art computer systems, use failsafe-manufacturing techniques and does rigorous testing on every unit before it is sold.
The company does not outsource any part of the manufacturing process; all assembly is done at the company headquarters in California. The company also responds very quickly to any problems that may occur after the product has been sold. The company uses a system over the Internet that allows a surgeon and an Intuitive Surgical engineer to be in contact at any time if any problems arise with the robot. If the problem persists the company either sends an engineer to fix the problem or the whole system is taken back to the company headquarters for repair.
Research and Development Research and development is a very important aspect of any emerging technology or innovation. Concerning the Da Vinci robot extensive research would have been undertaken into the nature of large operations, different robotic systems and different control systems. These results would then been amalgamated and the development process would then begin. Continual assessment of the development process is essential. If the current development strategies are unsuccessful, new research would be undertaken to identify problems and try to minimise them.
R&D is essential in ensuring the success of an innovation. With a strong R&D program products are more likely to be introduced as a market-leading product, as a successful product and as a profitable product. What is Robotic Surgery? Robotic Surgery is an emerging technology that utilizes purpose-built robots to perform surgical procedures on patients. At present these robots are not autonomous, they are controlled by a surgeon at all times. Thesuarus Wiki Intuitive surgical Howstuffworks http://www. amdocs. com/successstories. asp? CustomerID=76&SID=603.