Features

A Sense of Touch for Robotic Surgical Systems

Design Considerations

The Cambridge Research & Development Neo interface uses linear actuation to provide force feedback. (Credit: Tekscan)

Medical device design engineers face lots of challenges when embedding new technology into products. Not only are there functionality challenges, but there are many other layers from a regulatory process that are involved. Therefore, here are some questions for design engineers to ask themselves as they go through the design process:

  • What force sensing technology can effectively and economically be integrated into the product design?
  • What mechanical or electrical requirements or obstacles may impact the choice of force sensing technology?
  • Does the product require capturing force within a specific sensitivity range?
  • Is the force sensor company a qualified, ISO 13485 certified supplier with a history of working with medical device companies?

Force sensing technology helps improve the quality of robotic surgical systems and smart surgical devices. As technology has evolved, physicians and their patients have become much more accepting and trusting of new technologies to perform medical procedures with a wider range of complexity. The thin, miniature nature of tactile force sensors allows engineers to design medical devices that enhance surgical environments and help improve patient survival rates.

Although each patient’s case is different, robotic surgical systems equipped with force sensing technology provide a level of consistency among treatments and therapies that is crucial to the advancement of the medical field.

This article was written by Mark Lowe, Vice-President of Sensors for Tekscan, South Boston, MA. For more information, Click Here.

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