September 26, 2023

Surgical robotics is dominated by numerous variations of the da Vinci system from Intuitive Surgical, a reliable however costly instrument that’s develop into a normal in fashionable superior hospitals. It took Intuitive about 30 years to attain this standing, however there are programs from J&J, Medtronic, CMR Surgical, and others which can be chipping away on the firm’s dominance. All of those programs function underneath the “master-slave” idea, which includes a surgeon sitting behind a console, away from the affected person, who manipulates the mechanical arms of the robotic through some form of joystick-like gadget.

Due to variety assist from Biomed Israel, the main worldwide Life Science and HealthTech convention in Israel (see extra under), we met with Ronen Castro, the CEO of Human Xtensions on the firm’s workplaces in Netanya, Israel.

Ronan advised us about Dr. Amir Szold, a number one laparoscopic surgeon in Israel, who steered making a laparoscopic hand-held gadget that has the articulation options of the present robots, however retains the surgeon with the affected person. He felt that a lot of the know-how in present robotic programs doesn’t ship actual advantages, as an alternative complicating issues and creating prices. He imagined distilling out the useful ideas of surgical robots right into a small, simple to make use of gadget that laparoscopic surgeons can undertake rapidly.

Human Xtensions, based on account of this concept, because of its multi-disciplinary group of engineers, created the distinctive HandX system. It has the identical levels of freedom because the bigger robots, however in a hand-held gadget that may be rapidly adopted by laparoscopic surgeons, and which doesn’t require the surgical employees to transform easy methods to prep for and carry out present procedures.

We had an opportunity to check out manipulating a pair laparoscopic instruments utilizing the HandX. The gadget appears futuristic and at first the controls appear awkward and unfamiliar. However as soon as it’s positioned into your hand, the controls don’t want a lot explaining and develop into second nature nearly instantly. For instance, the actions of the jaws of the grasper mimic how your fingertips push onto the tabs of the controller, following alongside as you squeeze and launch. Pan and tilt of the wrist does the identical on the articulated distal tip.

Instruments that may be snapped out and in of the controller can have as much as 8 levels of freedom, of which 4 are motorized and 4 are handbook. And they’re small instruments, all being a diameter of 5 mm in comparison with da Vinci’s smallest being 8 mm, making them a bit much less invasive and leaving a smaller pores and skin mark. As different laparoscopic programs, Human Xtensions’ know-how can be utilized in all kinds of belly surgical procedures, akin to GI, hernia, collorectal, thoracic, and so forth.

This new manner of controlling laparoscopic instruments the corporate describes as “endo-robotic surgical procedure”. Its management sees it as with the ability to disrupt the present market, because of important value reductions, all whereas providing surgeons capabilities beforehand solely accessible from very costly robotic programs. Furthermore, there’s potential for this know-how to inspire extra surgeons to undertake the minimally invasive strategy, as about 50% of surgical procedures within the U.S. are nonetheless achieved in an open trend.

At present, the awkwardness of typical laparoscopic instruments retains many physicians from utilizing them in quite a lot of instances. Surgeons find yourself manipulating laparoscopic gadgets to the bounds of their very own arms, and this causes fairly a little bit of bodily and psychological stress throughout procedures. The HandX, which mechanizes and motorizes 4 levels of freedom in comparison with typical gadgets, ought to make laparoscopy rather more accessible to extra physicians and make it relevant to a better number of procedures. Apparently, the gadget has the choice to reverse the tilting of articulated suggestions of its gadgets for people who really feel that to be extra pure.

Take a look at a brief video from Human Xtensions introducing the HandX system:

Human Xtensions is considerably distinctive for an Israeli medtech agency, as it’s impartial, is publicly traded, with a portfolio of patents, has a product available on the market, however which has not been acquired by one of many massive gamers within the trade. Due to its tiny home market, Israeli companies usually find yourself becoming a member of massive conglomerates. Human Xtensions selected to proceed with direct gross sales of its know-how within the U.S. by just lately opening an workplace in New Jersey, however in different international locations it’s working with native distributors.

Whereas the primary merchandise from Human Xtensions are are already being made accessible to surgeons, the corporate claims that it has an ongoing R&D pipeline that ought to lead to further “endo-robotic surgical” gadgets. Apparently, as a consequence of FDA’s regulatory methodology, surgical robots should be authorized for particular indications by the company. The HandX gadget, not being in the identical regulatory class, doesn’t have such limitations and is the one robotic assisted surgical gadget available on the market that doesn’t want particular indications. So it will probably instantly be used for normal surgical procedure, bariatric surgical procedure, colorectal, urology, gynecology, and so forth. Furthermore, the required coaching to get proficient with the gadget is just a few hours, in contrast to two weeks or extra for the da Vinci.

The CEO of the corporate describes the expertise of utilizing its merchandise as “nonetheless being a surgeon, by the affected person bedside, however with the identical features contained in the physique because the da Vinci.” A gorgeous proposition in a world by which know-how has contributed considerably to the distancing of physicians from their sufferers, often resulting in detrimental unwanted side effects.

With a view to be most tasty to completely different sizes of clinics, Human Xtensions makes its merchandise accessible for outright buy, but additionally as a subscription mannequin by which the clinic pays on a per-procedure foundation, an possibility that minimizes capital investments. This is able to profit smaller amenities that don’t carry out numerous procedures, and the choice comes with on-site help, coaching, and the like.

Quite a few medical research have been carried out with the HandX, and physicians have given optimistic evaluations of the system, indicating that there’s potential for substantial adoption of this product.

Right here’s a superb video of the HandX utilized in medical apply:

Product web page: Human Xtensions HandX…

Biomed Israel, is the main worldwide Life Science and HealthTech convention in Israel. This 12 months it’s scheduled for Might 16-18, 2023 in Tel Aviv, and matters vary from medical robotics, to bio-convergence, to the affect of AI on biopharma. Over 6,000 trade leaders, scientists, engineers, physicians, and buyers shall be attending for the twenty first consecutive 12 months of this convention. It’s the largest occasion in Israel that brings collectively Israeli healthcare professionals and trade consultants with worldwide colleagues to work for 3 consecutive days on enterprise alternatives, develop partnerships, and to hunt new collaborations. Tons of of Israeli life science companies shall be displaying off their merchandise and applied sciences to attendees from everywhere in the world. Extra data could be discovered on the Biomed Israel website. The convention is co-chaired by Ruti Alon, Founder and CEO of Medstrada, Ora Dar, PhD, Senior Skilled, Medical Sciences and Well being Innovation, and Nissim Darvish, MD, PhD, Managing Companion, Eliraz Ventures.