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AutoLap studies published in Surgical Endoscopy journal present robotic system usability data

November 19, 2017

MST Medical Surgery Technologies announced publication of the results of two clinical studies examining utilization of AutoLap™  ̶  the only image-guided robotic laparoscope positioning system  ̶  in Surgical Endoscopy, the official journal of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and European Association for Endoscopic Surgery (EAES). The studies reported high user satisfaction, safety and usability, as well as high accuracy of the image-guided robotic movements performed by the AutoLap system.

The results are derived from clinical utilization by experienced surgeons as part of two multi-center studies in hospitals in the Netherlands, Italy and Israel, and support the safe and efficient performance of the core technology of the AutoLap system in various general and gynecological laparoscopic surgeries.

The article points out that image stability is not always reliable when the laparoscope camera is held by a camera assistant, due to tremor or unintended movements by the assistant. This can be a cause of motion sickness and surgeon distraction that could even result in prolonged procedures and compromise patient safety. As the article states, the AutoLap system aims to overcome current manual-controlled camera control concepts by radically changing laparoscope manipulation technology through the use of image analytics technology.

The robotic steering concept for AutoLap is based on MST’s core image analytics technology that enables computer-based instrument recognition, instead of direct electromechanical steering of a camera guiding tool that is unaware of the relation between camera position and field of view. Hence, AutoLap’s image processing algorithms enable motorized movement of the laparoscope at any oblique path by following the movement of a designated surgical instrument.

The Studies and Their Results

The two multi-center studies evaluated reliability and efficiency of the AutoLap™ system in clinical use, based on the experiences of nine experienced surgeons in a total of 66 various laparoscopic procedures. Their conclusion indicates that the core AutoLap technology demonstrated safe and efficient workflow when using AutoLap robotic camera control, as well as high image stability and high surgeon satisfaction. No system-related adverse events were reported and mean overall setup time was only 4 minutes  ̶  mostly performed while the patient was being prepared for surgery. Moreover, use of the AutoLap system did not prolong surgery time compared to literature average.

“Based on extensive first-hand experience with the robotic AutoLap system, these study results indicate an opportunity for hospitals and surgical centers to transform laparoscopy with a solution inherently beneficial to surgeon and procedure quality, that enables workflow efficiency, full surgeon control and safety,” said Motti Frimer, CEO of MST Medical Surgery Technologies. “The robotic AutoLap system is powered by MST’s core image analysis technology, with which MST is leading in the field of surgical analytics to empower the surgical environment with automation, focusing on the medical robotics and computer-assisted surgery (MRCAS) market,” he added.

The study, “First experience with THE AUTOLAP™ SYSTEM: an image-based robotic camera steering device”, can be accessed here.

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