The robot will help to avoid medical errors during operations on the...

The robot will help to avoid medical errors during operations on the spine


According to statistics, approximately 15% of spinal operations fail. The fact that the spinal column contains a large number of structures that are easily damaged. But Swiss experts from the University of Bern and the Centre for electronics and microtechnology CSEM is developing a new technology that can reduce the risk in conducting complex operations to a minimum.

Swiss scientists at the moment, create a special robotic drill, equipped with sensors that can “see” three-dimensional skeleton of the vertebra, and an additional electromyographic study allows us to avoid incorrect contact pins in the nerves, spinal cord and other anatomical structures. Built-in sensors able to determine the thickness of bone, location of nerves and blood vessels, and also to compare these data with the results of x-rays and CT scan. Moreover, the whole process is completely controlled by doctors, and they can receive real-time data about how the operation takes place. As stated by one of the project leaders Andreas Raabe,

“We think our robot is the future of spinal surgery. The robot is able to perform faster and more accurate than humans. This robot has a lot of advantages, for example, it is possible to carry out operations in the deeper layers inaccessible to man. But if something goes wrong or the doctor decides to change the course of the operation, he will always have the opportunity to intervene in the action machine”.