Medical robots are playing an increasingly important role in medical diagnostics. Partially automated handling solutions allow the precise targeting of suspicious areas in the prostate, delivering more accurate biopsy results and better prostate cancer detection.
Developed by the Dutch company Soteria Medical BV, the new Remote Controlled Manipulator (RCM) facilitates the work of doctors and minimises the intensity of the intervention for the patient. The metal-free RCM is used inside the limited space of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.
An important part of the RCM is its sophisticated software system, which is used in conjunction with MRT images for extremely precise needle guide placement. The current images of the target area are compared with previous diagnostic scans. By means of plastic pneumatic motors of the robot, the needle guide to then moved to the exact location. The system is controlled by a Festo valve terminal type MPA. The doctor then guides the biopsy needle safely and accurately to the prostate using MR images to take a tissue sample for further investigation.
Partial automation by a robot makes the biopsy procedure a lot less stressful for the patient. Thanks to the high precision of the robot, which consists of state-of-the-art polymer stepper motors, a tissue sample is taken from a suspicious area with one or two samples. With randomised systematic biopsies, however, the urologist takes 12-16 samples under ultrasound guidance.
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