New Crop of Robots to Vie for Space in the Operating Room

JFIF;CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80 C   %# , #&')*)-0-(0%()(C   (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((" }!1AQa"q2#BR$3br %&'()*456789:CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz w!1AQaq"2B #3Rbr $4%&'()*56789:CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz ?N]:P1”R pBR1–S-- E-:NRRҊJQ@/u?WKs^|!],uqu~P?0([z-Yz->$t5e꼝 Q'$~haK1K@Š)h$1EPE zW@1ڏA磊 d+xݸs)1ZBk`j_F[i>*T[ ݼcҗ1p.YiX.RqK\Q6DufS}1F;ֵDH7wrH{ZPG D] PspkK;iz0$GF?\:ES\Ks';on*%! 2u! T mۉg* Vlv5uxuٹ#~=p+_/o! "tG[C=̋Χε-Gr |W>tz⅔`bFI8LP1"HE4xzUڥyr j&BV7wi%هs}oPry0t“qWDzҎz;ˬy\QNpʥ Uz8xŇ4s&ii6LPSim6C@LS!c1E.(S6)QJ))E)š) N QNK@)Em:PJ))hqƝ!<~!]: 5$WaLH@FjɡY|zR_D}(A괵9Ժ}%x;Uvuu܌}GJIY꼣V_A/49)1N&H)h )HP!1KERK@@.k[L&RaO+655FFFNA_Z7Z:Oflf>iZ;l$0rRV#C:@0RS&)cH}Ji: 5}k\qW7w %S K#1?TiLRRPi 8B)mQHdTiRpQ@i@@ pQ@S:EPө43@xKpbw֮6c}H{+P[q ˰*Hڣy2Ŵ4,m[?Jom AkgjAwD2SA/4rT-Q@.(QQQ֐Ҋ׌?`ޱx`rhdԷO~SyJ_a87QI-Fٍm'9Rє "t<zmZE^"_9=t~kt20;zo`D.?у\Zu=nUip; ¶ ,~J [)Vcm8>*ZI9F3M{-sp}kBqGUn,`p\HLA#xVʐ9zִGu5DFc(eOE1+Ǡ9SE?FүLJTAA.#/C6Vw6]Ĭb(c T.*#4{kt8B*66T\\KhWqz'bxl5ȶxώkc@ A =3mspGǑ`Q gi}+8j- ${jSA*BTr"8êhf;XTlz94I90(wQݳ .*Բmw-,Gri_ēWJ`)|u zqȭf8沊CJ|3BIWnvH=oXRSGQƮl[[#;02I\|׳F &|nʌOk:APHӨ"YۓR{kS1L^+͢ +nLWU!UIEexʚM߻t+'zZ"EpEL?8SP5@D[S9򟑩E(iE)h ZQ)h(S[[q(gs %*SaI1ɏr1$2kÓl,gWv?eM->)" `/XǨn=qz4a|⺯ tXAFMs=`1q鞣9t>)*61SJ]l_v?yWoU"RdX=]s꥘*dᑃr?_QJgؾֶtH>g(b 3L&#[H`PH(.m".'0G%!Bx4=FIZ vazUYf$ǒjdK{ӦA<3 ElӰSJV8§ Tkv?5z{+obCޟo,2PҰ5 z%r1I+U?T{&S;pG$#e!U SFAW+nP2[%ړ@YaJüΫ8gg#[23Sv(H.P 68Os0 }=+>HNh>L{jQO;Rr:ԕ@!HO(ki7' "D m粞ZZ,𞵪#gp0)mS7P44֧bWc9b ꚨ?Z/THFV~e(V~e)lrO4%:eRRqiB(Q QM(ԢPi xNKM}iNQ@NJZh4Rii҃@NPh+\KOt?ҺE>-DNziz.j栘R9M4ͭԻ(eܽFyZЅ6|Ps9gx⺀Yۜltv:Z71W]zr1؃Ʀw(GZQ@ +C$,} 'si>)20=F8ᓘVF@"YjV:c}['cDrWI8l~#?Jm>wmp>?#X>,h/!RCx0F}JWnlWp*B&6Z3`L|p^~]?Hem!g@y+[=VّWَ?LUj!H!xڑ'סcRS_17k"Bk{*  #!04geˏ|,lgsMgAE7R@4Z ŧ mǃN)Ԣ 8PE%(h m-:HQEuiWA¿ ?![ڠ QECRFyuڄ6PjV5UB} Y"RC@?MU3,mE8Ul=A6(toNx=Ia ЊetT1fFyE?é@GŎA;9o8c^J8 Bp{EyMy=P ߯Dzx{N~;\*$qc:qRĥ5wRUQ v)1N <%-ī49=;}q/rp v t' }XbD tIEwh#}kQ&x%jRyҐ1/\ 컣aC>1˱.C 1qzW^+];24x!P9@gمRvV3SHw`c5H+G:UwŰs4\6YFJBT^3[fl( 1E=q'nZ{cٞWw&hT9&64ch+zsLF k=.>RTH\">2:znz'dຟ}A]hi"ؠ!秡xmyɻ$qk"D1QBTHlĀ=9ֆ1zF;/kW6%%$,ѩ+Ⱦ .o#ֽOE&mOo[Od"Npr*PzT)P˜}Kp,"dyJJܽ$=fLzUaikU\ws#&?t,5XOpkpw(Wkקk}!=ۈ#']RWrgR$W?*`<+!4P=Z4FwH&LmaVxX|5$.t sx SIK #qYAh# N;KUE.tc^MMh@W8k*pE"BOJcM֖>cj=`"Ԯ|#9FK}yXa;@&tnj~X.!#)CUtv/q{ h]G w i[1Ua([[: '_ʰw=0ҷ::K1S9MCLch"iԆN ! @fsJ P h 8R .hN 8P:)E%(cE6P!٥өŢ: 9`xW4nj@5/BSjb)b!5^y'U= D'J!=" !,:{?xfA _p%A#>ПJ}X0@:j=?J`LvϿ?!f(֢'Xgđy#7<+I^)TOq؏P5kW?#fvwǁ-" 9\,T÷l#zQmKnn[oXG$N@ ^޿CrGEx1՝귺~tngsqϽD-5,@Q A*,mIMϾO$F6*(B)ܚy$Ě}HLĐ4$P7>a@+55ofyA=ZFoje V룏WuZͺZɧ.ەnwH~|ܱ@z;8h8 ޕ^9#v褰U֐PI {nt=5#u,h:zc޶-mSOkSd.2b'w<ӌ{-=Bnr}9)dzQ\s^]X*T'+퐇rSQ(m?i"t(koMg8l{}Oo$g?wG6[17[5+SK'+5ϡ1:qMYu"/CfmJOɼM$ Kk7/5b{$ErO(ׯM+ %Ǎt94{*gt~ӅyS,yG7o/=JyT*uIi mG98{_t-'Hv*wv9v'ڵXIgvU^I5E{&_i~dm`{0AjzqGft%9<|< `"5?{u0-O]RFZ}$ 3O@BȫI $ƄI!TO tm:RRHu)|6N"f]zWkQ6s #tw'>H2E&nE[SF~m5r[]^e&)gY_k*~m.7RMgufʷ۳rh@fxȆU) GAu}J.9gzlzb+bh>*̂rۘAv#}?~TEaHqzҗ!#ϡ2kU7`-]Nlr.vtTE%-:hἶ52c zQ޹v + pOYy oQ=ETem(ױ"x #;wվi&,2mg.|9|vWݐ~RSО#im$e9' jEW"hLE>5Eݶ SլBtJ6HJa+("TlT֖8R}ǵe՘MuDy+9t {Nee`Ŀ>q^2Y-Hf?5zE:;HMq>MO³IL RAxX#-á[ڠb1GQC@+·DG5hdž~s!✕WMY-UoFjM /E5x>׆[7Zއ Im03+'WY еT@ČcEr~GԱRn~=臱x1[?k rlbHNI\%D9;b@<{S$zRReK\V2~8 c%SҼZy 2AĴ˒ES}O›6Q=R1H?ƗOuz,$fk?C}FsWYn}6Fs8A=I$~x2&׼a㘕ō=6,Mlռz Z Ѐ ~-kH-ImC,v i'FcX~_NUMz,(HŴ]':V%Q2>?`NZ;奕Yϧҗ\յ-۠o8=}c⒟YdWeި)c@;sR2VTc?xi-m>x*[m-%E8%d >Q;]}HW-ig8eAS[K-&66z|+ 0oۥaW>A`Hz\1Q{;Xrk/弓/: Oox+<}k2JB m.iQE%ZJcHiM!.'Zm-%@i0ө))i) IJi()M4J(0isLf>e(4iE0S>S)€$)€)8RԹ-2(D6F 7{ ,K.64(qēӞ³ xsپQNga5Wvs {&H}B[]])˜pN<366X\(ڽ1ҥ/֪zU4%s~k]s_<}CZpY?:L?h FϮ\EK{Y-R2=j+h&Q[+}RNᷢ%Z[Es9 ==O֭G/:>2֥])2T;Lm_3:i$:jUH;L}O\\ֿCk֧un3$bنysҰ-NlK@ 1F>?_Rմ6R)cEZ9A=5,Ķ谦J >SMGGd.!Lb$k1a7/<=t<2Ɂ:*Abg#ѵpx*~\F i 0WSIjlx@ĜXWcUk~kڧOnU)O._m9D^?Kmib(❚x4<x5i!Ӂ7 ?2[J s { !OjuLHƒ?5uAm\C!7`?^y!Vd^ƽǿ-=4| *=]2ge ->;zzZmH$ASFz׊`[fTt먏#Kc3#gŚ_v־5,J<}l:PK/Vc*tD1#DCk]7j>$oOA6ZmfGQ-V!x_ͫxW*u? OϪj h3&uf14ӳ@ɠ (3u(4YzΒd՛aݹ4KT2=ҫ6Z w*L ~rscqղK+!8:2V scuBK TK̰OO6=6v:WP%ʹ2.ETLIԱY:}j*B7JSS݊>um݊};~r}pzUh%@A WthiZuMr?jg{%dU>A?7G\}*mU +9g8#N*L{)_,ڛi#nH#Evʓ x2Zv$UIݖ3!?ҹחy\'G{~YB.m9*~*xN:ߋⵀi e|nU9*ŏ>)Gjbrx?SS ^j3fuCS7(qI$ _^O)3FkRţ4@ ֒)(4ZLEQIJJSI@4ҚJJJZJc JZnh%z(hi&i3E1h% IEaM4Jm-6 IEHlSQ4(?u0p4N@Z֯mZDj55y$hw(Q+ JdzsW7r]I-Woқl<=kėV\]r{@j=>Y;"5<nb$V';FJHZ-fk6_t %oXW7<aa&MEc;Tg$W+,otKOOƟ!O%WrO5vÁJB-8qQF8Rk⎾1k]QOgX1BΩ!kAMmelTUUiֺ5C#\YjԏiLf p4\E6@ )š)ARm(P5c,y+pK:5qr}}* cԱSpUqэ5dykJ"gi:3LJa rI..nk'oKDwljmHJi]݉$U۽E\u.*j]xr1cשKNk̲=>+G)Q^L*j~8oG Os{.[]7#m֩Y Z$;F{u(өUi}ݢ@ǥk avKDКqgZ?֥]zMqmȦa~˩3E5K'1'ΧKdF5@r8R2zVrF0X3\<e #0V݁?:Yt79=QXiL]U̇a*.ZEUI HKSWbKJ99Ϧ;+ܓGԧ>M!㩤b~|j]X)tCr pGnQ s7A R ߥ*թ#OxTm#ڧVSӃS,,Q4gG4WxSf6g~xb"*T sr;x=JJŒM0J\iI\JLi(k4ffcN34NiEH)£( BP0]$=AtF<]( ,3|SI52xKC_pCf?ֶ8,3)|3u⹩Gt04_+Hx ?m~XF#}+pS6!~0\:p+OM?Ap+9n"bQLTR r_Pd!? ]n3vYkG[Ǘ؆X Kv 5Mw_ P) sE4Z))E.iAzL;洍)dDF;`ijZLu5ps{c,Tړ+85rj%C]Tq橊Ivɦ4F|j0$GF$@2sSj3U"Y1jϻEO[qcZ&m/CY{}jsYwpv8k-t;wR34̢I#v+]~QO4zS 9#,y[8R#CO)Ҝ"AۚZ:z r)}ڰHBqVؙ=H7s+ְ2MJNʟf\zWXҳ {S*u1a/Fڻ`0'J慲\?Szgb5lVO'^`IK(*ȸ愐g z\gZ,;;L*#`ǭ"LQ\giГ :TŐ:s+Qvsя 3X\֤O;VRZI<;:DlT:Մ!Fg+YВ7*PjfEL*"d5'QQ92uUG+z9CQ`%*GlҁiV@zS Qv;.zѸMw(x84:B4sJOc$N:d``b4V!ǚk`AԙR ƚ3$qeZs"t=ET7 zgV&JSHhҚC@ (@r8SE(٥Ppp pp pQ@"ANN8S0SQM@R@YcKE=z-A^ue!+z[~[2XAPBX|'1 ,:ڹki`Is":p=HSߺ>}H*)f g?J< Pp2o~cHoj!vtzTik#-"`tS'?~U¡W1Rlz ,WRJM>@&jfsfgM& iEVy8QgnN;9jlO5P89T-A#$擮q•c2jQvcv8-ܑR1LU],|d~t݅,جdK|񞦳ebO">3}7~4؈*&@a jXQ.f[R mր"R2U~R:ֈ S-U*9'8!Fv0$Sd'}i _6oL񟙇=cm,9NNr9cr(Ps֙$AR=9A =1)2: "i9(WnpheM=e sP>b6PBAUqRϭQhb(6֡DЉQS=ELh0:bJ!j1@<⃎;A*4 ts f54֒zU4, ֝׵; c*=—x\9/ɁJqgPb~;Vmi=kGT$h\RRWvIFh4SHhQEH Jp@R4P+)RpRJ(E8R php Np pp m-%ޗ]EI^mWXoKo)q+<..Nȗ$fBԠʃI UʑCk{;u z㫋KH-#{"*⢲y#R}Mz8e7-d*!~UZdj.3'Ce#0H3TʒnbG-֯:\ i-@iySԃҟ3\,5#瞵/  UەO4ma~ᜒM%rpx@#B<n*d] ~JR#|@gy5l*@ɪoNeS1'52ր%O @2 0{Td`U_zhBxUc21Fsށ\NRNIigO8z@pH$fQښ:p)> 3*qH*8qǠ jp5j350\pyfFрCu# Bsy% gOQkmۘ1YM%ԵH*H^A?Gp"_A5X..d†] +7a'՞k>PU{ѓiW-|JXAw -!CJ(4(q@P)@ 8 @ pNK@P0SRrOaLBb '$JXVܓuiEoHT*饆g-\LcJzRC,3ŦL*WS_GlzT3pOֹ{FN*דܹm4څ()k^L: ,,Q tET:j#Ӣ`jx⇓UY$fj 7HXQ+AI63OaznNS&11wk5.>n*T`QqتL #F ^~ҋXa+> Xk"k$DeN֥P:VW}U;95H/.V(w_^4gқ-Ҫ(5cQ\!g9nZƠaLH;Fz r@4JBP8Ġ1c 'ިCM: (^ғc@t2c昧h9c'HdM@TY=E: ώVR5TGQgwo֪؃OYW~>?/D?d4SEq +/]/$T}FZxILSI8ϷZXkdhS{. Rn"cZ8_\ߎ|?f~H' y<5]ȵYBGq\qs2f&cM7l.nc~ңM$xր&A$uDwEJuk"oRKsUogKhG(IMg=^RwJYx^6b gV^`bk7fȣ=!5X}kA\Mu `LѠ -~ FHfnOZgs.+7Q:kh*͒>״O1IUW'gF8^?53lĚ\c^eX1Y[/oiُ:SА':OGҧ6U#=1֛xOEf#yvԕ=OLJ9ǟMV:Gl>C'GUzJJJZ((PEg)@ 8R p pRxNM@ q>u~CmFœgs֍'VjeV6tV3]rl}k-<3yŢApI"pڝj/W#Q=dxճQ'iw@jk;O܌f~GR+nNܴiu.ǖ+܎Sg@wr+}w2R8}I5h%7/\O+djt$ @;cmdnFnԱīӗ)a@.:zz@F4ҁ/} 4➄"#C}iG(gZb.K 9"\g&xjNR#'H TQJ|~j[)!? ԛzUy`>hw)|AA_mfSwe*q\k(p6dK6׬}/`XQFU= Jp86o^Hqk*ߋ5y?c_HGqXKmMCQr\Cw +n5XFvi?*@f&@[V2WDkdĚ4;,G;sIs?HCw+f Xʏâ˪G$&>odlP[H"MRK˯ݛhm`.Us{g*密b ]d`}"qQXUYu5znZ~dԮ=v7'Jؓke$RzgV=30 .3U,[TOFjvREerñ~~kv+]Y+z}UTs)&|J3G ݤeq9==8(3:!YoxF y"[lhNZ\vg~n.\[Osel@YDd!́_EYA.5 Р #LA^^[c A Hc9&.-WPou` dG2B({KcrF8Yц9R9+4ڞ^;=^K 졟PO5M/oc0v/p88V~iezϗ*_MN;)9]:O ńHrX=2:'xl&\s^QT71 dgne]=A~ܗvz$mg%Dl 8$}ZW:m6I“xVf&b^ i0|=zsqKIq 1ITbz^[,\XƮpe7T23حTU_@=ƍFXڶHx]p*%:{ @PF͞{>خX)VJA&ߑZ@JhXO`OY_Is$*Q[Q#T+u+3IvU OrJiI 6iQER(` ppd-:)AQM@4*0i@? q\o{;1FpNI dCԹzܗeqZԯˢl`޿a[/nj] 9%vs(*땻"m͐B6 <'vٞvS?+ZPIfufұrQ~#|/o˽wpu&Pm@KXmU6.aiRB tUNSb:֯ ˛VEP"b@9P *>Cn/F5+=ZB<'uDČrHG%f\T{I-B=C/u V&f]sԃjMZ5;R&l~~ +hZTcq Ƥ {r&TTL]WBG={(blE SsLqC RhօNKXz@*ޚw*R vZ9l`PzO騿$Y]i,3*Ha=uޕ\upRx/92`#Mi?LOVRP_h`kP}(y|Q1dYuI e*Yf˫=G;}ih Zy/?wLHm| sp]Dyבk= gې;~@g]Ykpq('Jh3ν-K9XԮKr~q׽u7 04 7&kdy/ŨI2JO`~*274siy$1g.1nkWL}wB ,q@㌓NNqhW:7>pS$S(GsBhVg_}HOE-Ų0P8 31L}+7ѪƇx+s}WnV}YYY@d3GZ"дț+emƤdT9+=O,^1h6) oTS|1'qN#lnX¾5ڀ>kkБ$Ȯi6u mފj5)8͊i18#L(Q??l*̍VC?gc$?jwQK vPX1iVZi%"@pvWwkt]koGQd24W1V0q3y6F=έ =&Du_`;O_j謒$,?MyįZkZhªLxMvg_vZ*4np`@|){Gƺno6m&q.O67 `M1s|iSk%3EM;$1v#`.V>cV4ڄɶuϨx\bĖ$9$3Zboqqъ~i3ImMaI4PQ3I@%-%&i(4PRRPKIEE'4RL^) xLZ6mbeeQG$X(Ƒr M}ޕm#>=i`歙UԔ|S֣!5 d{-qbK$jJCBppCJpN )KPQBӀG[]Gր^jfOYkC; Ocl3ܶݚq?U=k,t rHKَU36Ηu1rUq?΋Q3X٫[BEMNLq[=vWVe@4Etm.b}ӫ.DO/?*n/m?HA&-`Pr;6י#Q kZjMͅv<>S'5Z$3G"ѺpPmsu r?X}EmgQj)5܍ HҥE=5)G݈wɋnb}q@&F:>MgƄ ytvрց^'Y>'Wo¸ 1ORNù`ƈ9].`P3q\Z@%Kg-\=O4X.kϫ\H9V@%rOz4jci44fJLњZ 搚u&iњb4IM!4i(IBiImfri3@抏4TρN(SAдiR@  v)ȅ*< Ѡ雷i{poY-6@>lĜ/n6¨~u0F];0ʒG\¡诣g0 qq{W+&!EA.#hh3_\D6$\~4Nό>z5νG^MwjPJк nGj +i-vg>[=IMG F:},}֦0E2}8{7'TzT9i E8b8+CTB8?:o"U X!OX&}Bխ} a_Uq/YHU4 vK|ѯZedx<ܪ~G0h:RޑGUPSPP#)TmY#'UTȊ4JlYmurǏQd(_5^XxidUlFe@כj:Փ6@N}U?1%]!F-.>Gtgɭ@⑾: 0 u6N=x|Zpt3ce50j:hGaK2iC(@nRDCl`^7/ŸM5{7RK(㴷S{~$*\څ{=C6f1eϋ5=U=NA8+i* ~լBH}K dZwvF+ռꢀ7G֥K[hpz?Vx~˞y=?Kn4%fqQ zy?YL3q{ uؿzBuK~}V6 ú_ܿ.fTO|0\Gb|[F>x :V K(tUmk ؉h@=N:cd;뚡?e}?J*4@AS LDAiة1Jf 'Zv( "mImh,Qm&>66Qe&w)6Ս(1IS젥Vh"l1i=|cmWimg:()ؠf)qNf*+gNe8?ғz jkcZ5 sj(XA@yş^64fGlrsӌs>er% YH\gOxWN=p*ےD8e"s$gmVn48 VY7fR+18k\\Jmʆus^]Zm%Yl Xdt]*M>iIQ.cE F廞7Ha5(5jV'hpAk_DV^n_F0DI0"ѱJ ZxK?FzxAbybMcC;鲇``r8鶺35sý%##gxð7ڋin>i'!Kc m8掠<LCˊY7[<=koLj^Bٖz}ѿdmD.UEhDISe+֗PG5]2+3\EƏ(I0L9k=9K-G:H'dumd#)(%ԍ'Xba:4r@9 qH5y$k!pv cWcCo#RG֬.gf"-I@}?3Y]P<(C9X\ۛծ<&nmJH$؎G*1I ؒ=^O|silڽSg u¥-V_uL~{qSYZ[c<;QFt V>c|bKqaz+ҁڀJe]ڥI tUY]gEz/։XŒUNY5Yo፤)@d?4_Ɩ/ _#CAL@udq RST vgle 6k0(XhN_Jӳ}LڽQ`= 4`\}N)4FTc3ı.EЉOX"~L=A?` ˖FNTqfixRյAahenGJŋt%a}gm$?y vHX.9R%?,*??q5#fSpj[;Y|C,?-g<RKGiCȿ0g=AgaSN$PٖMR Ω][T jh@nCyŁifu#0DP[?餙#x4SqpvZ[b}5$ϸ/f}AxN PyZE!9?mă4AmR4Uo x W،t9# ?hG.͸(Rq q{[NeϭSX)?ZZ!mXxw쒬s,.9^H+>Q L5# z?xXk^_ɪhcs| xH[e$G*` -$uDSMMm&ʱ_mjj6PmjBh*)sU(3 \S- =+CՀ#~Y+WCj"Ojƈi:M!@4X员?85 J"/@*C@r1S'j*d UsX O E-m~)6߱S⑁fkapq¾7^\n~50΍eR*[^ۢAqB#B"i6gXz撳_iՋEl^a Y>戰5q ={AxrA94SeG쑖?#RW?nz?V(7!3=YV8HO:R>\i3@H={CFh(Z{tX~#u/Zst* k-~Cr+\"I D$cUG4sC#dRF)3@ )qHZp PV#U 2)y,HIdA_q:yg$#yUgR7 =׾#ڭ߅8{WYӏ?x\3Ly$MDˎ9gï?ΪW{04-IȒ$֠e',kKn=.~8u6;i1SmmCVHV+Eqb)qFDIK1@GɟSZQ-SLFJщj˶s$ʞ1%UUk%X9SHcNl)<'u)!oV^*=O$Q\FRTY 3@VZY7Xʭ  ֤)R x*-  i;S2)RSڙT&^?|({^N/10rFi44fM4Bi3@晚vhԹ斀H׏TY>Ԡ05R2*{H{%"]h܊ٷs*J֋.l.eģ"R z\U ,c?Eixz ,;~zrHRTdaX`™&w1gRt8a =x+trEq1_D_ŤMF#zmO֧lYeA<~v4w<_alz4-R6 t=t!O5$>tR}j +Kgg?TOurh9%] zWz|"T) `~\:ڏKBwѫ* b0 Ak8_]f*pҮ˪[}q*PTY-RHKdٜ5r;;XJ1f>d\4iu?)1NZpFH o7)ewe=&k?q1iz_^'&&NsӚQDO]6ICbI8$ t(F@4Sc6M>=+L,DO NjC1Ob-8(n6 u-FRSڧ"e!Jm!ZL 0DE4h *]P3)v b+M+@˄QW+ɼ=決{}d4$23ЎֽCMY짎x[#d}=i !i 4nTj5*Ԓ’RTWFdfx=??&_.C~O!۔0Oѿi?CN#<5G?Jx[9sO1O<\\EMGAE*ALTԠP9@DTQ= nsuUk#?Ҭ["qeO搚LKP!␚f)7PQu1T]WԜP1w c'sRʗϐz`JQTwN$PXR!I#vO,1+ɢ']Tb8[HO\ f"l»i+>Tp.?SB[nUyOkJH#l>ƪIk 5!؈ijdԯ֣-@sHMG^!6\F/OJO7| {Dk9Lg s![8x/;}n. jwukظŗ8e^3GQ`EH`{gNk¼\MxYr@\J|R4%"G2cdPixmE޵cg78{jS’Ϧ^mH0 NIn='9BQQ^54]zCӑY jT`Ӌ_}.~lg3>Igl5o oDRMnxG\#OMUh#M~'Z[xפ`|m?_"B8th@L :9xӠZM|HJ /iVX.l:1@kUSR~֮pd`{ \ݴi ڃ6:K8Q̙ϱ4l4{[`V*sگ"ӣ_~V":4 v)qN7m.QKqiqN.7m.)F)أ)iqpZ`)ؠbSIiiSH~)1@""TPQŌRE#0"V$@xT,tFI2aGC(4G{vHl/O[ O?+4omb}ȡFA֊(je4QHDjuMXR8nEPdtҊ)E%;Cqm=~(oo, fQex`D¡a(8d,q6? ̾,ق͒[twp3mp??'tp?E0"wA3A|2gwQE0gy}ZVR4m J3H(E7(Kw&JօrJ(\@aOk FpcE; yt (v=Ig֊(gtQXب(z6|ExEgBqEb6<ϊtO_B#|(k?QEQUcsVQ["mQU1aEVBRMU|wԉ".6 GEos>w{/;*F;1$WUSHoQVf.)@\PPQ@Š(b⒊(E(Q@PQE%&(E&(i=(EP3
Warning: fopen(https://newsweekme.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/2016-07-28T052942Z_1_LYNXNPEC6R092_RTROPTP_3_HEALTH-ROBOTS-722x439.jpg): failed to open stream: HTTP wrapper does not support writeable connections in /home/newsweekme/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-image-editor.php on line 428

Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci Xi robot-assisted system is integrated with a patient operating room table that can be adjusted during the procedure is shown in this image taken in Sunnyvale, California, U.S. in 2015. Within five years, one in three U.S. surgeries - more than double the current levels – is expected to be performed with robotic systems. Courtesy Intuitive Surgical/Handout via REUTERS

By Susan Kelly

CHICAGO – Even though many doctors see need for improvement, surgical robots are poised for big gains in operating rooms around the world.

Within five years, one in three U.S. surgeries – more than double current levels – is expected to be performed with robotic systems, with surgeons sitting at computer consoles guiding mechanical arms. Companies developing new robots also plan to expand their use in India, China and other emerging markets.

Robotic surgery has been long dominated by pioneer Intuitive Surgical Inc, which has more than 3,600 of its da Vinci machines in hospitals worldwide and said last week the number of procedures that used them jumped by 16 percent in the second quarter compared to a year earlier.

The anticipated future growth – and perceived weaknesses of the current generation of robots – is attracting deep-pocketed rivals, including Medtronic Inc and a startup backed by Johnson & Johnson and Google. Developers of the next wave aim to make the robots less expensive, more nimble and capable of performing more types of procedures, company executives and surgeons told Reuters.

Although surgical robots run an average of $1.5 million and entail ongoing maintenance expenses, insurers pay no more for surgeries that utilize the systems than for other types of minimally-invasive procedures, such as laparoscopy.

Still, most top U.S. hospitals for cancer treatment, urology, gynecology and gastroenterology have made the investment. The robots are featured prominently in hospital marketing campaigns aimed at attracting patients, and new doctors are routinely trained in their use.

Surgical robots are used in hernia repair, bariatric surgery, hysterectomies and the vast majority of prostate removals in the United States, according to Intuitive Surgical data.

Doctors say they reduce fatigue and give them greater precision.

But robot-assisted surgery can take more of the surgeon’s time than traditional procedures, reducing the number of operations doctors can perform. That’s turned off some like Dr. Helmuth Billy.

Billy was an early adopter of Intuitive’s da Vinci system 15 years ago. But equipping its arms with instruments slowed him down. He rarely uses it now.

“I like to do five operations a day,” Billy said. “If I have to constantly dock and undock da Vinci, it becomes cumbersome.”

SURGEONS’ WISH LIST

To gain an edge, new robots will need to outperform laparoscopic surgery, said Dr. Dmitry Oleynikov, who heads a robotics task force for the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.

Surgeons told Reuters they want robots to provide a way to feel the body’s tissue remotely, called haptic sensing, and better camera image quality.

New systems also will need to be priced low enough to entice hospitals and outpatient surgical centers that have not yet invested in a da Vinci, as well as convince those with established robotic programs to consider a second vendor or switching suppliers altogether.

“That is where competitors can differentiate,” said Vik Srinivasan of the Advisory Board Co, a research and consulting firm that advises hospitals.

Developers say they are paying attention. Verb Surgical, the J&J-Google venture that is investing about $250 million in its project, said creating a faster and easier-to-use system is a priority.

Verb also envisions a system that is “always there, always on,” enabling the surgeon to use the robot for parts of a procedure as needed, said Chief Executive Scott Huennekens.

Intuitive said it too is looking to improve technology at a reasonable cost, but newcomers will face the same challenges.

“As competitors come in, they are going to have to work within that same framework,” CEO Gary Guthart said in an interview.

Device maker Medtronic has said it expects to launch its surgical robot before mid-2018 and will start in India. Others developing surgical robots include TransEnterix Inc and Canada’s Titan Medical Inc.

An RBC Capital Markets survey found that U.S. surgeons expect about 35 percent of operations will involve robots in five years, up from 15 percent today.

J&J, which hopes to be second to market with a product from Verb, has said it sees robotics as a multibillion-dollar market opportunity. Huennekens said Verb’s surgical robot will differ from another Google robotics effort, the driverless car, in one important aspect.

“There will always be a surgeon there,” he said.

Social Streams

Comments

comments

Facebook Comments

Post a comment