For each issue, Surgical Products relies on its readers to share what innovations and technology they’re interested in. These last couple months have been full of developments and exploration in the surgical industry, and readers were curious to know more about one development in particular – Titan Medical’s SPORT Surgical System.
Although its release and U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance is pending, the splash this new system made at the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons’ (SAGES) annual meeting in early March spurred questions from readers. To learn more, Surgical Products connected with Dennis Fowler, MD, MPH, executive vice president of clinical and regulatory affairs at Titan Medical.
What should surgical teams know about this new surgical robot?
Fowler: The SPORT Surgical System from Titan Medical is a highly versatile surgical system that significantly expands the addressable market for single and multi-quadrant abdominal surgical procedures performed with a robotic platform. The System’s design provides superior clinical capabilities through a single incision and unparalleled OR efficiency at operating costs similar to traditional laparoscopic surgery. The SPORT Surgical System consists of a highly ergonomic workstation where the surgeon has an immersive 3D high definition surgical image and novel hand pieces for performing the operation. The workstation also has a second display for accessing images or other information real-time for the surgeon.
Although it will enter the market that has been developed with currently available technology, the SPORT Surgical System is a completely new design that delivers not only currently available functionality (tele-operation, 3D high definition imaging, and intuitive control of the tools), but also delivers enhanced functionality, improved operational efficiency, and a much more ergonomic environment for the surgeon to work – all at an affordable cost for the hospital. Because it has a unique technologic footprint, it is not built on previously developed technology. The enhanced functionality includes automation of specific tasks and subtasks, better access to real time information about the patient, better communication with the OR team, documentation of surgeon performance, ease of moving the system from one OR to another, and a reduced risk of surgeon injury.
What type of visualization system does this system use and why was this chosen?
Fowler: The visualization system includes a stereoscopic camera module inside the patient and a large 3D high definition display that is integrated into the surgeon workstation. Once inside the patient, the pan and tilt functionality of the camera module is automated so that the surgeon will always see where s/he is working. This will not only provide very high quality images for the surgeon, but it will also significantly reduce cognition load for the surgeon and shorten operating time. What types of procedures is this robotic assist ideal for and why? The first generation of the system is designed to enable abdominal surgery. This includes gynecologic operations, general surgery operations, colorectal surgery operations, and urology operations in the abdomen.
What input did practicing surgeons offer while the SPORT Surgical System was being developed?
Fowler: High profile surgeons from US and Europe have provided input and feedback on the design of the system. Their input greatly influenced the design of the workstation, the development of specific tools, and the overall functional requirements of the system. Titan’s Surgeon Advisory Board includes General Surgeons, Colorectal Surgeons, Gynecologists, and Urologists.
How is training structured for interested surgeons and their teams?
Fowler: Titan is developing a structured training curriculum that can be used by surgeons and hospitals. The training will include not only psychomotor skills training for the surgeons but also team training for the entire surgical team. This is being developed for Titan by high profile surgical education experts and psyshometricians Equally important, Titan is developing validated performance assessment tools that will allow hospitals and surgeons to measure the level of skill acquired by a surgeon or surgical team. Both the Training Curriculum and the Performance Assessment Tools will be provided to customers at the time of purchase of the system.