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In a world where technology has contributed significantly to the distancing of physicians from their patients, Human Xtensions is making an attractive proposition, aiming to eliminate the negative side effects created by the doctor-patient distance.
Born out of the idea of making a laparoscopic hand-held device that has the articulation features of existing medical robots, but keeps the surgeon with the patient, Human Xtensions seeks to deliver real benefits by producing solutions that are low-cost and easy to use, consequently creating the unique HandX system. HandX system has the same degrees of freedom as the larger robots, but in a hand-held device that can be quickly and easily adopted by laparoscopic surgeons, without the surgical staff radically changing how to prep for and perform existing procedures.
HandX system is a futuristic endorobotic robotic-assisted surgery device aiming to take over a series of abdominal surgical procedures. It has up to 8 degrees of movement, of which four are manual and four are motorized. This system is a little bit less invasive and leaves a smaller skin mark compared to da Vinci’s.
Human Xtensions’ technology is a small tool of about 5mm in diameter while the smallest of da Vinci’s remains 8mm. Providing surgeons capabilities that were previously only available from very expensive robotic systems at a significantly lower cost, this technology sets to motivate more surgeons to adopt the minimally invasive approach.
Conventional laparoscopic tools exposed surgeons to some sort of physical and mental stress by limiting the degree of manipulation to the range of motion of the surgeon’s hands. The HandX however makes robotic-assisted surgery, specifically laparoscopy, much more accessible and applicable to a greater variety of procedures by mechanizing and motorizing four degrees of freedom, giving it an advantage over conventional devices.
Human Xtensions is a unique Israeli medtech firm, being independent, and publicly traded, with a portfolio of patents, and a product on the market, yet retaining its autonomy. Usually, due to its tiny domestic market, Israeli firms end up joining large conglomerates or being acquired by large players in the industry. Human Xtensions, although working with local distributors in most countries, chose to proceed with direct sales of its technology in the U.S. by opening an office in New Jersey.
Surgical robots, according to FDA’s regulatory methodology, have to be approved for specific indications. Interestingly, the HandX doesn’t have such a limitation since it’s not in the same regulatory category. It is the only robotic-assisted surgery device on the market that does not need specific indications, hence it can immediately be used for general surgery, colorectal, urology, gynaecology, bariatric surgery, etc. Also, only a few hours of training is required to get proficient with the device.
Over about three decades, Intuitive, a company that produces expensive but competent tools, strived for dominance in the field of surgical robotics. Not surprisingly, after years of relentless efforts, various versions of the da Vinci system from Intuitive Surgical become a standard in modern advanced hospitals.
J&J, Medtronic, CMR Surgical, and other systems continually put the company on its toe as they chip away at the company’s dominance. While it’s undeniable that these systems have greatly improved the medical technology world, it’s noticeable that they all utilize the “master-slave” concept in which a surgeon sits behind a console, away from the patient, and manipulates the mechanical arms of the robot using some hand-held joystick-like device.
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