Surgical robots allow surgeons to be distanced from patients while operating via computer interfaces. The result of this project offers a glimpse of how emerging technologies can be utilised to deliver surgical care to elective patients in remote and rural communities currently disconnected from centralised hospitals.
Keyhole surgery methods allows surgeons to operate on patients through small incision ports in the body. This minimally invasive surgery approach reduces trauma and enhances conditions for post operative recovery and patients´ well being. The introduction of robotics in laparoscopy has led to a trend of both smaller and fewer body incisions, resulting in enhanced surgical outcome. How will technological advancements affect future surgery? After all, if it were possible to simply take a pill instead of being operated on, who would hesitate?
With gained insights from the health care environment and studies of patient-personnel interactions with technology, the project offers a glimpse at a possible future scenario wherein telesurgery is an everyday activity enabling delivery of surgical care to elective patients in remote and rural communities currently disconnected from centralised hospitals. The implementation of a mobile tele-surgical unit would enable specialists from diverse surgical subspecialties to access and deliver their services to remotely located patients in need of surgical treatment.
Influenced by cutting edge technology, the robotic architecture of the unit has been dramatically changed. Current systems consist of four arms for controlling the necessary instrument and camera equipment. However, like their ancestors, the instruments are still quite inflexible leading to rather clumsy equipment interfering with surrounding personnel. The instrument module in the final proposal utilizes a robotic architecture similar to how a snake moves. This architecture allows for an increased flexibility of movement inside the patient’s cavity resulting in smaller equipment and a minimized footprint in the operating room. Also the amount of incisions is further reduced to no more than one.
The design is characterised by the necessary logistical footprint and transformative qualities that enable it to be conveniently transported without damaging fragile and costly components in addition to further isolating sensitive parts with high demands of sterility.
BA degree project 2012