A system powered by artificial intelligence (AI) is being developed by researchers at the National Robotarium at Heriot-Watt University, with support from the Dundee Institute for Healthcare Simulation of University of Dundee.
The solution, named AILap, is self-training. It has been designed to use machine learning and machine vision technologies to provide users with real-time feedback to help improve surgical technique.
A recent survey from the Fellowship Council, a body dedicated to surgical training, revealed that up to 56% of fellows who had finished their training were not able to sufficiently execute laparoscopic suturing.
It is hoped this technology will increase access to training and continual improvement through immediate feedback given by AI.
Dr Mustafa Suphi Erden, AILap project lead and National Robotarium academic, said: “Laparoscopy training takes a significant amount of time to learn and currently requires access to training platforms and guidance from expert surgeons who are often time-poor.
“That’s why AILap technology has the potential to play an incredibly important role in supporting professional training in our public services and health systems.
“We hope AILap will enable training a greater number of surgeons without the need of an expert supervision. The technology will work with off-the-shelf components so it will be affordable and accessible for health care systems around the world.
“At the National Robotarium, researchers are passionate about developing robotics and AI innovations that can be harnessed to tackle the biggest challenges in healthcare. Whether in the field of robotic surgery, laser surgery, assisted living, or early diagnosis for diseases, we’re driving research and building partnerships that can change lives.”
The National Robotarium was a finalist at the first-ever Robotics & Automation Awards in the R&D Innovation category. Read the full list of winners for the inaugural Robotics & Automation Awards – the most exciting new event for those working in the robotics and automation sectors! Check out exclusive coverage of the night in the November 2023 issue of Robotics & Automation, which also features original content on the developments of robot-assisted surgery.