AiM Medical Robotics has partnered with Harvard Medical School’s affiliate Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in the US to conduct a study validating its robot for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

The study will take place in BWH’s advanced multimodality image-guided operating (AMIGO) suite and will be supported by the surgical navigation and robotics lab at Harvard.

As per AiM, DBS leads can miss the intended target area owing to brain-shifting due to surgery to create access holes in the skull, compared to preoperative imaging. This brain shift can cause inconsistent and suboptimal outcomes in many procedures, as the target moves relative to the skull during surgery. Approximately a third of DBS lead placements require revision or removal surgeries due to lead missing intended targets.

AiM plans to use its stereotactic neurosurgery robot to accurately deliver DBS leads with real-time MRI guidance in patients with Parkinson’s to avoid brain-shifting issues. The company has reported a successful cadaver trial at the BWH’s PracticePoint facility. This trial demonstrated the precise delivery of bilateral DBS leads using real-time MRI guidance. The procedure was completed entirely within the MRI suite.

AiM’s neurosurgical surgical robot is MRI-compatible which facilitates intelligent intraoperative surgical planning and guidance through real-time soft tissue imaging. The company partnered with Canada-based Synaptive Medical to integrate the latter’s Modus Nav neuro-navigation software platform with AiM’s neurosurgery robot, to allow for enhanced visualisation, navigation, and control.

Robotic surgical systems have grown in popularity in recent years. According to GlobalData analysis, the surgical robotics market was worth approximately $7.2bn in 2023. It is expected to have a strong compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5% to be worth $10.3bn by 2030.

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There have been multiple recent advancements in the field of surgical robotics such as the use of 5G to allow for remote robotic surgery. In December 2023, Microbot Medical partnered with Corewell Health to develop telerobotics between remote centres by utilising the Liberty endovascular robotic surgical system. The telerobotics functionality will allow for the surgical procedure to take place without the presence of the surgeon at the concerned site.

Companies such as EndoQuest Robotics and Omnivision are also working to integrate imaging into surgical robots. In January, the companies partnered to integrate Omnivision’s OCHFA CameraCubeChip image sensor into EndoQuest’s flexible robotic system.