Regardless of how impossible it might look at times, there is always something to improve in a human life. You see, this is what has allowed us to experience things that were once well beyond our reach. Now, when the discussion is about expanding your boundaries, you must acknowledge the wide assortment of avenues humans have created to do the said job. Nevertheless, the high volume present here doesn’t mean that any avenue ever came close to matching technology. Technology enjoys such a high stature within our lives mainly due to the far-reaching way in which it established itself across the board. Partnering its limitless reach with unprecedented efficiency set the stage for technology to, in fact, become the biggest milestone in human history. In hindsight, it feels like the achievement was orchestrated by various factors, but the most important one among them was surely our medical sector. Technology’s efforts to scale up healthcare would go on to prove as hugely influential in ushering us into a whole new era. While the collaboration between these two disciplines has already delivered some transformational results, it is still moving rather steadily on that trajectory, and a recent developed from the John Hopkins University slides in as its next big step.
The researching team at John Hopkins University has successfully developed a Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot, which is a self-guiding robot designed to perform challenging laparoscopic procedures in gastrointestinal surgery, including intestinal anastomosis. Notably enough, the robot is also well-equipped to adjust actions on the fly, thus helping it counter different conditions in an effective manner. If the technology ends up working out, it can produce a reality, where high-quality surgical procedures are accessible for everyone irrespective of the surgical skill and experience available at their disposal.
The system reportedly uses an advanced imaging setup that is tasked with depicting the point of concern in a surgery. Furthermore, the robot is able to handle intricate procedures effectively through custom suturing tools. So far, we have seen the emergence of semi-automated surgical procedures, but the researchers at John Hopkins have really gone out and taken a major step forward.
“What makes the STAR special is that it is the first robotic system to plan, adapt, and execute a surgical plan in soft tissue with minimal human intervention,” said Axel Krieger, one of the leaders of the study. “Our findings show that we can automate one of the most intricate and delicate tasks in surgery: the reconnection of two ends of an intestine.”
Talk about initial results, STAR has performed the procedure on four animals, and according to certain reports, it achieved significantly better results than a human carrying out the same procedure.