The FDA has given a nod of approval for TransEnterix to integrate the Intelligent Surgical Unit (ISU) — with machine vision capabilities — into its Senhance Surgical System.
The new addition is expected to enhance the ability of Senhance to gather and interpret visual information during robotic surgical procedures.
"Machine Vision is the capability of the Senhance System to actually have a computer see and interpret visual information during a surgery," TransEnterix president and CEO Anthony Fernando told HCB News. "The system will now have the enhancement of tracking instruments in the surgical field and allowing the camera to follow those instruments while a surgeon is operating. Now a surgeon can continue to operate and then move the camera seamlessly as they move about the operation."
With machine vision, the computer has a view of the surgical field, enabling it to recognize certain objects and locations and guide the surgery. It allows the ISU to control the camera for the surgeon by responding to commands. The ISU is also designed to be compatible with augmented intelligence features planned for the future, including scene cognition and surgical image analytics which are expected to enhance performance during digital laparoscopy with Senhance.
Senhance itself is designed to assist in the control of laparoscopic instruments for visualization and endoscopic manipulation of tissue including grasping, cutting, blunt and sharp dissection, approximation, ligation, electrocautery, suturing, mobilization and retraction. It is currently used for laparoscopic gynecological surgery, colorectal surgery, cholecystectomy, and inguinal hernia repair.
"There are over 3000 community hospitals in the U.S. that are non-academic hospitals without residents and fellows to support surgical tasks," Fernando said. "In these hospitals, it's especially important for a surgeon to have maximum control during surgery, especially over visualization during complex surgeries. Based on surgeon feedback, we feel these new features will be most beneficial to surgeons that are operating in a wide surgical field that will require a significant amount of movement to perform a precise surgery."
Senhance is FDA approved
. The ISU is compatible with the global installed base of Senhance Surgical Systems and with third-party vision systems that are currently supported by Senhance.