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CMR Surgical unveils new version of Versius surgical robotic arm system

by Thomas Dworetzky , Contributing Reporter
A new version of CMR Surgical's Versius surgical robotic arm system has been released and the company believes it is a big step in the goal of increasing the use of safer, “keyhole” surgical approaches.

The Versius is about a third of the size of the more widely used da Vinci Xi system, according to the Daily Mail.

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The U.K. paper reported that plans now call for the system to perform operations on patients at the NHS starting in 2019, and that the device is expected to earn its European health and safety approval mark within “months” and in time for its launch.

“We believe Versius represents a paradigm shift in surgery,” CMR CEO Martin Frost said in a statement, adding, “the groundbreaking design, coupled with genuine affordability, means that patients everywhere have the potential to benefit from the advantages of minimal access surgery. Versius is a great example of British innovation and its launch represents a pivotal moment in the next chapter of surgery and patient care.”

Minimal access surgery, also known as keyhole or minimally invasive surgery, is an alternative to open surgery developed over the last four decades.

Estimates suggest that there are roughly six million open (conventional) surgeries annually that could be done via minimal access.

Versius “resets expectations of robotic surgery by providing a versatile system that is portable, transportable and affordable,” stated the company. It has a small form factor, modular design and the robotic arm can be moved around easily on its cart, so it can be shifted between ORs and even hospitals, and quickly set up for its next procedure.

“Versius mimics the dexterity and range of movement in the surgeon’s own hand and wrist, and is designed to be flexible enough to handle the majority of laparoscopic abdominal and pelvic surgical procedures,” a CMR Surgical spokesperson told the Daily Mail.

It also has 3D HD vision, an easy-to-adopt instrument control and a choice of working positions. “It is hoped the new open surgeon console will reduce stress and fatigue, offering the potential to extend the careers of surgeons,” said CMR.

Beyond helping surgeons operate longer, CMR also hopes to bring the best surgery to the most people.

“For patients and healthcare providers alike, the benefits of minimal access surgery are compelling,” noted CMR, adding, “the promise of reduced trauma, faster recovery and improved clinical outcomes has been the driving force behind the development of surgical robotics for decades. However, despite these benefits, robotic surgery is not yet performing the majority of available surgical procedures due to current constraints, leaving millions of patients worldwide still undergoing open surgery.”
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