The saviour arm

Robotic angioplasty is an innovative healthcare advancement saving patients and doctors alike


Innovations in medical care are not only saving patients but also aiding doctors to be precise in their surgeries and therapies. A remote-controlled, robotic-assisted angioplasty system has been developed to address some of the
procedural challenges and occupational hazards associated with traditional surgery methods.
The traditional procedure may throw up obstacles not only for patients but doctors as well. According to Dr Narendra Nath Khanna, a renowned cardiologist and vascular interventionist at Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, “During angioplasty, the operator has to go inside the Cath lab and has to wear an apron which is made of lead and weighs up to 10 kg. This induces a lot of
the strain on the operator, especially in the neck and shoulders. Not only that, conducting frequent surgeries means the operator ends up getting frequently exposed to radiations which can be very harmful. Many doctors have developed cancer due to the prolonged exposure to the radiations.”
 Instead of the doctor’s arm, the procedure is conducted by a robotic arm which is controlled by surgeons. The precision of the robotic arm is 20 times higher than that of a human being’s. This also eliminates the hand tremors due to tiredness, stress and various other reasons.
 The robots are made in such a way that they magnify the movement of the robotic arm by 20 times, giving high precision while operating.
 The operators (doctors) sit outside the Cath Lab in a workstation from where they control the device. This eliminates the direct and prolonged exposure to the radiations.
 The Future of Healthcare
This procedure can also bridge the gap in medical services in the rural areas. As Dr Khanna says, “In the future, the doctor can be at New Delhi Apollo Hospital and the patient can be in some other part of the country. The robot can be manoeuvered through the internet at the patient’s health facility. A few doctors are experts and can use this technology to conduct high value distance procedures.”
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