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World’s First Miniaturized Robotic-Assisted Surgery System Allows Operating Room to Be Set Up in Minutes

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 20 Sep 2023
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Image: MIRA is the world’s first miniaturized robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) system (Photo courtesy of Virtual Incision)
Image: MIRA is the world’s first miniaturized robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) system (Photo courtesy of Virtual Incision)

Most routine and high-volume procedures are usually carried out in outpatient and day surgery centers, where there is often no availability of robotic-assisted surgery (RAS). Now, a miniaturized version of an RAS system, or miniRAS, with a small form factor aims to change this. This miniaturized system can fit into a regular surgical tray and is aimed at making RAS accessible to a large number of patients who currently do not have access to the technology.

Virtual Incision Corporation (Lincoln, NE, USA), which is focused on advancing patient access to RAS, is the developer of the world’s first miniaturized RAS system named MIRA. This device has a compact design that enables the advantages of RAS for abdominal surgeries without the logistical hassles associated with traditional robotic mainframes. Weighing around two pounds, MIRA features internal components that provide a high level of maneuverability within the body. It is adaptable to any operating room setting, eliminating the need for a dedicated mainframe room. MIRA’s design, which requires neither draping nor docking, makes it quick to set up and move from one case to another. It can function independently or supplement existing mainframe systems.

Going forward, Virtual Incision will lay the foundation for performing telesurgery in outer space. A modified MIRA will be placed in the International Space Station to carry out simulated surgeries from a microwave-sized locker, thanks to its small form factor and RAS capabilities. The company is also working on an even smaller version of the robot for more general surgical uses, with human clinical trials planned for next year. Recently, Virtual Incision concluded an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) study for using MIRA in bowel resections. Currently, its De Novo application is undergoing substantive review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If approved, a limited rollout of MIRA at select locations in the U.S. is planned.

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