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Abu Dhabi Health Week showcases historic telerobotic thrombectomy by Cath.

Photo : Abu Dhabi Media Office

XCath, an early-stage medical device company focused on advancing endovascular treatment procedures through smart steerable guidewires and robotic systems, part-owned by UAE-based Crescent Enterprises, has achieved a groundbreaking milestone. The company showcased a first-of-its-kind live telerobotic trial for stroke treatment between Abu Dhabi and South Korea.

During Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week (ADGHW), Dr. Vitor Mendes Pereira, a neurosurgery pioneer and Director of Endovascular Research and Innovation at St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada, successfully performed a mechanical thrombectomy—a procedure to remove a blood clot from a blood vessel—on a simulated patient in South Korea. This revolutionary procedure was performed live from Abu Dhabi and streamed over a live feed. Using a microcatheter, Dr. Pereira removed a simulated blood clot in a brain vessel within minutes and at low latency, demonstrating the potential of telerobotic surgery to significantly impact patient outcomes by bringing expertise to remote locations.

Time is critical in treating stroke patients, as over 2 million brain cells can be lost per minute until treatment is administered. Telerobotic surgery offers a way to save valuable time and expand access to expert care in remote areas worldwide. By supporting remote minimally invasive procedures, XCath's platform aims to improve treatment options and outcomes for acute neurovascular conditions.

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Eduardo Fonseca, CEO of XCath, emphasized the importance of this achievement, stating, "This successful telerobotic demonstration marks a key validation of our platform’s potential to improve the treatment of emergent conditions like stroke. As a leading advocate for telerobotic technology, Dr. Pereira was able to demonstrate how our technology could transform patients’ lives globally."

Dr. Fred Moll, a surgical robotics pioneer and founder of Intuitive Surgical, highlighted the significance of the event: "Today, we witnessed a groundbreaking moment with the world’s first telerobotic manual thrombectomy on a model, from Abu Dhabi to Seoul. This pioneering achievement is not just a first, but a crucial stepping stone towards regulatory and industry support, ultimately leading to widespread acceptance and adoption. In stroke treatment, where every minute counts, this technology holds transformative potential."

The live thrombectomy case, conducted during Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week 2024, assessed the latency and overall performance of the remote setup. Dr. Pereira operated the robotic controller located in Abu Dhabi, while the silicone model and bedside unit were in South Korea, 6,949 kilometers away. The neurovascular devices used included the Stryker AXS Infinity LS, Trevo Trakb21, and Trevo NXT.

Communication between the robotic controller and the bedside unit relied on the standard conference ethernet connection with the possibility of 5G redundancy, rather than dedicated lines. The latency during the procedure ranged from 153 milliseconds to 170 milliseconds, averaging 160 milliseconds. Jitter was measured and found to be imperceptible.

During the session, XCath presented the company’s navigation challenges and provided an overview of its robotic platform. The presentation highlighted the transformative impact of the endovascular revolution for Abu Dhabi institutions, demonstrating how advanced robotic treatment can position the UAE as a leader in achieving transformational clinical outcomes.

Neeraj Agrawal, Executive Director of Crescent Enterprises, praised the achievement, saying, "The successful execution of the world’s first telerobotic manual thrombectomy on a model between Abu Dhabi and Seoul Korea at Abu Dhabi Healthcare Week is a testament to the UAE’s dedication to pioneering futuristic technologies. This remarkable progress from XCath underscores the region's leadership in the global medical arena and Crescent Enterprises’ commitment to driving innovation in healthcare."

The demonstration signifies a major step forward in the field of telerobotic surgery, showcasing the potential for remote medical procedures to revolutionize patient care worldwide.

May 17, 2024 3:20 p.m. 521

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