Robots, equipped with artificial intelligence, will soon perform surgery in Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). Six doctors are undergoing training at Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) to perform the robotic surgery in HMC, QSTP’s Managing Director Dr Eulian Roberts announced at the opening day of BioQatar symposium here yesterday.
Qatar is to become a regional centre for robotic surgery as five doctors from HMC and one from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) undergo training. The training took place last week at Imperial College London, which is partnering with QSTP to set up the Qatar Robotic Surgery Centre at the science park, he said.
“The Centre will have three main purposes: Demonstrate new medical robots, train surgeons from Qatar and the region; and participate in further development of the technology. It will engage in collaborative research with robot manufacturers and surgery centers worldwide, including that of Imperial College London. It will also provide the opportunity for local surgeons to develop new clinical procedures”, he said.
Dr Roberts said the Qatar Robotic Surgery Centre will open at QSTP in the second half of 2009. The sprawling centre will be equipped with three Da Vinci brand medical robots, a simulation operating theatre and a ‘tele-mentoring’ suite. It aims to train eighty students and fifty surgeons from the region annually, and as many again from overseas. HMC will also have its own functioning robotic-surgery training unit. It took possession of its first medical robots earlier this year and envisages that they will be used for patient operations in four to six months.
Medical robotics is a fast-growing field that combines the accuracy of machines with the skill of humans. Computer-controlled mechanical ‘wrists’ can scale-down a surgeon’s hand movements so that the surgical tool moves only a fraction of the distance the operator’s hand does. This allows tiny, stable movements that would be physically impossible by hand alone. Robots are most commonly used in prostate, heart and gynecologic surgery.
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