December 9, 2019
7:30 AM Registration Opens
9:00 – 9:30 AM Opening Remarks
Robotics technologies are playing a major role in providing better healthcare services and clinical outcomes, often with the added advantage of controlling costs. But robotics products and services also deliver secondary benefits, which can equal, and often exceed, the business and medical advantages typically linked with healthcare robotics innovation. In this thoughtful and illuminating keynote presentation, Rich Mahoney, CEO of Seismic, will discuss how robotics solutions can further improve our quality of life, while democratizing society and benefiting humanity. The critical interplay between fundamental research and commercial development to deliver new technologies and products will also be discussed.
Robots and robotic technologies have a long history of success in healthcare. Recent advancements in the field of collaborative robots, makes for additional possibilities to support the healthcare sector across a variety of applications. However, questions arise regarding how best to integrate and use collaborative systems to optimize their potential. In this presentation, Corey Ryan, Manager of Medical Robotics at KUKA Robotics will describe some of the ways collaborative robots are currently being utilized to support healthcare applications. He will also compare and contrast different methods for adopting collaborative robots, and highlight selection criteria for choosing collaborative robotics systems. Additional topics include:
- The benefits of off the shelf collaborative robots and their impact on the healthcare market.
- The cost advantages of adopting an off the shelf solution versus developing a custom design.
- Best practices for selecting collaborative robotics providers/partners.
11:15 – 11:30 AM Networking Break
Assurance of power availability during robotic surgery procedures is crucial to assured procedure success. Most healthcare facilities have a backup generator to provide power in the event of utility power loss, but these generators typically take many seconds, if not minutes to come on-line, resulting in potential disruption and compromise of the surgical procedure. The surgical suite presents many challenges in the assurance of seamless power continuity. This session identifies these challenges and presents modern methods for assuring continuous power which complies with applicable safety standards, as well as minimizing space requirements while optimizing product life and reliability.
12:30 – 2:00 PM Exhibition / Luncheon
The requirements for improved tactile feedback in surgical robots, along with greater responsiveness and accessibility, are key drivers for the surgical robotics market today. However, creating medical robotics that perform as an extension of the surgeon’s hands presents engineers, designers, and suppliers with unique challenges. In this session, attendees will learn of various technological innovations that support the development of more functional, performative, and accurate surgical robotics systems. Examples include low friction seals that improve tactile feedback, and springs that allow the quick connection of different surgical tools and also enable the transmission of data and power to and from the surgical site and the robot. Additionally, the role of custom‐engineered parts will be discussed, including how they can be leveraged to achieve new levels of performance in sophisticated surgical robots. Real‐world application examples from device designers, device contract manufacturers, and component maker will also be provided.
One general trend among technology providers – including healthcare robotics companies – is the migration away from selling products to selling services. For some types of robotic firms, a business model that relies on largely on hardware sales is simply untenable. As such, service-oriented business models are becoming more common in the robotics sector where the high upfront capital expenditures for system, and risk aversion to new technologies on part of potential customers, can impede growth. In this panel, business, legal, technical and operational aspects of the Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) business model will be analyzed and discussed. Examples of robotics companies embracing and successfully employing a RaaS approach will be provided.
Surgical robotics has the potential to revolutionize every medical procedure. However, as each medical technique is highly specialized, robotic systems must be adapted to each procedure very specifically. This leaves several medical markets wide open for robotics innovation.
In this session, Dennis Moses, Vice President of Engineering at Neocis, will describe how producers of medical robotics systems can innovate to maximize clinical value and enter untapped markets. Using the development of Neocis’ Yomi dental surgical system as a guide, he will detail methods for collaborating with medical and technical professionals to gain an understanding of clinical challenges, and how to produce technical solutions that specifically address them. He will also comment on design factors must be weighed, including the choice of autonomous vs semi-autonomous vs tele-operated, cost considerations, size of the working environment, accuracy requirements, and more.
Like any other medical device that interacts physically with patients, healthcare robotics solutions must be tested rigorously to ensure that they conform to the Hippocratic oath’s primary dictum to “first do no harm”. Questions remain, however, as to the most effective and expedient method for testing and validation, and at what cost. In this session, Evan Hochstein, Medical Segment Lead for Stratasys, a provider of 3D printing technologies, will describe how the combination of 3D printers and smart software can be employed to generate custom anatomical models for testing medical devices, including robotics technologies. Methods for generating simulations of both soft and hard materials will be described, as well as using pre-set anatomical structures validated by leading industry professionals.
Traditional methods for healthcare robotics product development have historically relied on iterative cycles of prototyping and testing. This approach, both expensive and time consuming, especially as robotics systems have increased in complexity over time, can limit innovation and result in product development delays. Thankfully, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with industry representatives, has provided a pathway to address this problem. That pathway is ASME V&V 40, a guideline for computational modeling and simulation (CM&S) that allows medical device and robotics companies to prototype and validate devices and subsystems virtually, and increase the likelihood that those models can be instantiated in the physical world.
In this session, attendees will learn how ASME V&V 40 can be utilized for healthcare robotics. Emphasis will be place on demonstrating how developed models can live throughout the product lifecycle and provide digital twins for systems for new product development, manufacturing, sustaining activities and failure analysis.
Designing medical robotics is a complex process whose success requires the dedication of a diverse and dynamic team of uniquely qualified individuals. Among them are clinical design engineers (CDE) who play a unique role in creating safe, effective, and reliable medical robotic systems and their components. In this insightful presentation, Chun hua Zheng, Senior Clinical Development Engineer at surgical robotics market leader Intuitive, will describe the importance of clinical design and the critical role clinical development engineers play in:
- Identifying clinical needs & defining clinical problems
- Translating clinical needs to engineering requirements
- Designing appropriate methods to evaluate and validate
- Bridging the clinical with the technical (people & concepts)
- Defining clinical pillars
- Championing patient safety
- Maximizing clinical efficacy while minimizing clinical risks
Aspects of the successful da Vinci robotic system design process will be used to highlight salient points.
3:45 – 4:15 PM Networking Break on the Exhibit Floor
Motion control is what makes robotics systems ‘robotic’, and it is advances in motion control technologies that have spurred a great deal of robotics innovation and a dramatic increase in the use of robotics technologies and products around the globe, including for healthcare applications. But compared to industrial and consumer motion control technologies, solutions for healthcare applications typically have different, and often very stringent, functional requirements in areas such as safety, reliability, tolerances, cleanability, sterilization and more. In this panel session, attendees will learn how the latest products and technologies support the development of advanced healthcare robotics systems and allow for new capabilities, new applications, and entry into new markets.
In this presentation, Brian Schmitz, Senior Director, Surgical Robotics R&D at Stryker Corporation, a $12B producer of medical technology, will describe the journey of a small surgical robotics company from start-up through to first clinical application, through acquisition and finally to commercial and clinical success. The session will cover start-up funding, intellectual property, regulatory strategies, and the importance and challenges of showing clinical evidence and economic benefit for success in today’s demanding healthcare environment. Also, included in the discussion will be an overview of the surgical system and its applications, and a description of the technologies used in this surgeon collaborative robot which include haptics, localization (vision) systems, robotics, control systems, and end effectors among others.
Today, healthcare professionals can leverage a wide variety of robotics technologies such as autonomous image-guided systems, tele-operative surgical equipment, and rehabilitation exoskeletons to bolster patient care. Although healthcare robotics systems can differ dramatically in their intended use, in each case their design must align with patient’s cognitive and physical capabilities (and limitations) to produce a safe and satisfying user experience. Human factors engineering during the design and development process can help achieve this. In this session, attendees will learn why human factors engineering must play a central role during the design of robotic healthcare technology, and how a given system’s intended user(s) and operating environment(s), as well as regulatory mandates, should drive design decisions. Methods and technologies used to support human factors design decisions will also be described. Real world examples will be used to highlight key points.
Robotic surgery, along with other robot-assisted medical techniques, allow doctors to perform complex procedures with greater control and precision than is possible with traditional methods. Ongoing technological advancement and improved procedures can further enhance the functionality, and increase the capabilities, of robotic surgical systems. In this panel session, attendees will learn of the many ways advanced technologies for sensing, cognition, and control and are currently being used in robotic surgical systems to enhance precision, improve dexterity and optimize manipulability. Opportunities for the introduction of new robotics capabilities and applications enabled by new technologies and development techniques will also be discussed.
Robotics in the health care sector are in a new phase of growth, particularly surgical systems. Over the years, the pursuit of safe, effective, and scalable surgical robotic systems for diverse applications has driven innovation for powerful enabling technologies. This session, based on a survey paper documenting the evolution of surgical robotic architectures and the increased performance requirements for motion components, will emphasize the evolution of motion control components in surgical robotics systems that have optimized torque density, system stiffness and precise sensing. System architectures for a number of surgical procedures, as well as how motion control components have played a critical role in ensuring their success, will also be discussed.
The development of commercial class healthcare robotics solutions demands expertise in multiple disciplines – specifically software, mechanical and electrical engineering. The strict operational requirements for healthcare solutions adds additional burdens for the robotics developer. Yet even if these obstacles are overcome, many other significant, often unrecognized, challenges emerge related to regulatory compliance, usability of the final engineered product, as well as healthcare provider and patient safety when robotics systems are employed. In this panel session, representatives from companies that design, engineer and sell healthcare robotics products for various markets will review standards, techniques and methodologies that assure compliance, optimize usability, and maximize safety of healthcare robotics solutions.
6:00 – 8:00 PM Exhibition / Mix @ 6 & LEAP Awards
December 10, 2019
Rather than robots replacing human surgeons, an emerging new generation of robotics systems will assist surgeons by performing tedious, highly precise subtasks such as suturing and debridement to improve the consistency of procedures, reduce surgeon fatigue, and open the door to long-distance tele-surgery. In this keynote presentation, Ken Goldberg, UC Berkeley Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, will describe how machine learning, coupled with data collected from surgical robots such as Intuitive’s da Vinci system, can be used to ‘learn’ underlying robot control policies for common surgical tasks. He will also review recent research advances with applications to cutting, suturing, palpation, dissection, retraction, and debridement.
Standards are commonly viewed as a challenge, a barrier to entry, or “hoops” to jump through. But for any technology, the publication of formal standards also signals a tipping point. Standards are recognized as a signifier of maturity, that a product or technology has moved from new, unproven, and novel, to fully accepted and ready for broad adoption. With the release earlier this year of two medical robotics safety standards – IEC 80601-2-77 (robotically assisted surgical systems) and IEC 80601-2-78 (medical robotics that interact directly with patients), the stage has been set for rapid medical robotics innovation and commercialization. In this keynote session, Naysahn Saeed, Global Director, Healthcare Services, CSA Group, will describe how these new standards can be leveraged to drive a revolution in robotically assisted healthcare systems, as well as their role improving healthcare overall, and in doing so, enhancing people’s lives.
11:00 – 11:30 AM Networking Break on the Exhibit Floor
MRI can offer high resolution 3D imaging with high soft tissue contrast, multi-modality imaging for tumor localization, thermal monitoring, and interactively updated speed, making it ideal for monitoring and guiding interventional procedures, including robot-assisted surgery. However, the high magnetic field, time varying magnetic gradient, strong RF signals, and high sensitivity to RF noise make leveraging MRI capabilities a challenge. In this session, Gregory Fischer, Director, PracticePoint@WPI, will describe a modular approach to MRI-compatible robotics that includes software, control hardware, and mechanical systems, that has been used in the development of robotic systems that can perform image-guided diagnosis and therapy, as well as surgical manipulation under live MR imaging. Results from various clinical trials will be presented, along with an update on ongoing research.
In this presentation, Cory Kidd, founder and CEO of Catalia Health, will describe the genesis and development of the Mabu Wellness Coach, a humanoid robot that uses artificial intelligence to gather insights into symptom management and medication adherence in patients, enabling healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies to better support patients living with chronic illness. He will describe the research – along with the social and business drivers – that undergird the Mabu platform. Kidd will also provide insights into the design, development and production of the Mabu platform, including the voice-based interface, as well as the Catalia Health Platform, a HIPAA-compliant cloud-based system for monitoring patient’s progress and challenges. An ongoing pilot program with pharmaceutical firm Pfizer focused on patient behaviors outside of clinical environments and the impact regular engagement with artificial intelligence (AI) will also be discussed.
The orthopedic surgical robotics market is expected to grow to over 1$bn the next 4 years, with an estimated 10% of all orthopedic procedures performed with robotic assistance by 2022. Driving this growth is ongoing robotics and AI innovation that enhance surgical workflow and optimize clinical outcomes. In this session, Christopher Plaskos, VP Global Clinical Innovation at Corin, a developer of orthopedic total joint replacement systems, will review market trends and opportunities within the orthopedic joint replacement healthcare segment, using Corin’s robotic and surgical planning products, and other robotics and AI solutions, to highlight trends. Future development opportunities in AI for surgical planning will also be presented.
12:30 – 2:00 PM Lunch on the Exhibit Floor
Mobile manipulators with autonomous capabilities have the potential to provide 24/7 personalized care for people with disabilities, improving their quality of life by assisting with a variety of tasks, such as object retrieval, hygiene, feeding and more. In this informative session, Charlie Kemp, CTO of Hello Robot and Associate Professor at Georgia Tech, will describe research undertaken at the Healthcare Robotics Lab at Georgia Tech involving hundreds of representative end users – including older adults, nurses, and people with severe motor impairments – to better understand the challenges and opportunities associated with mobile manipulation technology. He will also describe efforts underway to commercialize mobile manipulators suitable for personalized caregiving.
Every vertical market will be impacted by autonomous mobile robotics – and healthcare is not an exception. Yet, healthcare is one of the most challenging environments for mobile robots due to the wide range of work performed by the various departments and the unstructured nature of the environment which mixes employees with patients along with the general public. In this presentation, Tony Melanson, Aethon’s VP of Marketing will discuss how shared mobile platform can meet the specific needs of various departments in a healthcare setting, yet can be used interchangeably. The enabling technology required by healthcare environments to ensure support and deployment, notably the remote support systems needed to ensure high uptime, yet zero to minimal customer support, will also be discussed.
Engineering services providers (ESP) play a critical role in the design, development and manufacture of many classes of healthcare robotics solutions. The services they provide range from the short term and tactical, to longer client engagements requiring deep domain expertise and end-to-end solutions involving co-innovation and shared financial risk. In this panel session, attendees will learn about the wide variety of engineering services offerings that are available for creating healthcare robotics technologies and products, as well as ESP selection criteria, business models and service agreement options. Case studies will be used to highlight critical points.
In this informative and inspiring keynote presentation, Carla Pugh, Professor of Surgery and Director of the Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement Center at Stanford University School of Medicine, will describe how advanced technologies, coupled with evolving medical practices, are transforming healthcare and dramatically improving clinical workflows. She will highlight how new surgical approaches incorporating simulation, analytics, haptics and sensing are being used to empower surgeons, reduce surgical risks and improve patient outcomes. Dr. Pugh will also comment on the clinical necessity for embracing and incorporating the same advanced approaches and technologies, with other classes of healthcare solutions. This includes robotics systems, which by definition are highly sensored, and often employ haptics, simulation, and machine learning, all of which are routinely used to increase the capabilities and improve the functionality of robotics systems.
4:00 PM Event Ends