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16 Feb 2023 - 18 Feb 2023

Neurosurgical Navigation Robot Combines AI and Machine Vision to Streamline Procedures

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 09 Aug 2022
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Image: The NaoTrac CE-certified neurosurgical navigation robot has received TFDA approval (Photo courtesy of Brain Navi Biotechnology)
Image: The NaoTrac CE-certified neurosurgical navigation robot has received TFDA approval (Photo courtesy of Brain Navi Biotechnology)

Amidst the increasing demand for minimally invasive surgery, neuro-navigation has become standard in neurosurgery worldwide. Currently, most navigation systems use a “vision-based optical tracking system” during the registration step. Image-guided surgery is used for intra-operative navigation assistance for neurosurgical problems. However, such solutions require some specific space to be maintained between the device cameras, the probe, and the microscope in order to eliminate obstruction. Now, a new autopilot neurosurgical navigation robot that combines robotic technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine vision could assist in surgical procedures such as biopsy, deep brain stimulation (DBS), stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG), endoscopic surgery, and external ventricular drainage (EVD).

NaoTrac, a CE-certified neurosurgical navigation robot from Brain Navi Biotechnology (Hsinchu, Taiwan), uses the company’s proprietary Surface Mapping Auto-Registration Technology (SMART) technology that merges machine vision, robotics, and AI to streamline surgical procedures with real-time imaging and minimally invasive outcomes. NaoTrac can be used for surgeries like endoscopic brain surgery, cell implantation, and other operations. NaoTrac’s unique autonomous procedure enables surgical navigation with non-contact registration, pre-operative planning preparation, and choosing the surgery pathway with 3D vision for precise anatomical location.

NaoTrac has achieved approval from Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) and the company is now planning a submission to the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for clearance by the end of 2022. Human trials of NaoTrac performed with EVD placement have shown that the results were good to perfect with high precision.

"The results of this report show that the average time spent on the patient registration was 1423.8 seconds. The mean target deviation was 1.68mm, and the mean angular deviation was 1.99 degrees, all within the accepted tolerance for minimal tissue damage," said Dr. Tsung-Lang, Chiu. "NaoTrac has several advantages besides the high precision, like a non-invasive, non-contact patient registration process with a fast and accurate procedure, the system provides precise navigation to the surgical target. It's also user-friendly, and has many other benefits."

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