Navigation Links
Robot allows 'remote presence' in programming brain and spine stimulators

Philadelphia, Pa. (January 16, 2013) With the rapidly expanding use of brain and spinal cord stimulation therapy (neuromodulation), new "remote presence" technologies may help to meet the demand for experts to perform stimulator programming, reports a study in the January issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

The preliminary study by Dr. Ivar Mendez of Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, supports the feasibility and safety of using a remote presence robotcalled the "RP-7"to increase access to specialists qualified to program the brain and spine stimulators used in neuromodulation.

Robot Lets Experts Guide Nurses in Programming Stimulators

Dr. Mendez and his group developed the RP-7 as a way of allowing experts to "telementor" nonexpert nurses in programming stimulator devices. Already widely used for Parkinson's disease and severe chronic pain, neuromodulation is being explored for use in other conditions, such as epilepsy, severe depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

In this form of therapy, a small electrode is surgically placed in a precise location in the brain or spine. A mild electrical current is delivered to stimulate that area, with the goal of interrupting abnormal activity. As more patients undergo brain and spine stimulation therapy, there's a growing demand for experts to program the stimulators that generate the electrical current.

The RP-7 is a mobile, battery-powered robot that can be controlled using a laptop computer. It is equipped with digital cameras and microphones, allowing the expert, nurse, and patient to communicate. The robot's "head" consists of a flat-screen monitor that displays the face of the expert operator.

The RP-7 also has an "arm" equipped with a touch-screen programmer, which the nurse can use to program the stimulator. The expert can "telestrate" to indicate to the nurse the correct buttons to push on the programming device.

Access to Specialists in the Next Roomor Miles Away

In the preliminary study, patients with neuromodulation devices were randomly assigned to conventional programming, with the expert in the room; or remote programming, with the expert using the RP-7 to guide a nurse in programming the stimulator. For the study, the expert operators were simply in another room of the same building. However, since the RP-7 operates over a conventional wireless connection, the expert can be anyplace that has Internet access.

On analysis of 20 patients (10 in each group), there was no significant difference in the accuracy or clinical outcomes of remote-presence versus conventional programming. No adverse events occurred with either type of session.

The remote-presence sessions took a little more time: 33 versus 26 minutes, on average. Patients, experts, and nonexpert nurses all gave high satisfaction scores for the programming experience.

"This study demonstrated that remote presence can be used for point-of-care programming of neuromodulation devices," Dr. Mendez and coauthors write. The study provides "proof of principle" that the RP-7 or similar devices can help to meet the need for experts needed to serve the rapidly expanding number of patients with neuromodulation therapies.

The researchers have also started a pilot study using a new mobile device, called the RP-Xpress. About the size of a small suitcase, the RP-Xpress is being used to perform long-distance home visits for patients living hundreds of miles away, using existing local cell phone networks. Dr. Mendez and colleagues conclude, "We envision a time, in the near future, when patients with implanted neuromodulation devices will have real-time access to an expert clinician from the comfort of their own home."


Contact: Connie Hughes
Wolters Kluwer Health

Related medicine news :

1. Da Vinci Surgery Robot Lawsuit Website Launched by Bernstein Leibhard LLP to Inform Public about Potential Da Vinci Surgery Complications
2. Virtual reality and robotics in neurosurgery -- promise and challenges
3. Robotic-assisted radical bladder surgery potentially benefits bladder cancer patients
4. New technique for minimally invasive robotic kidney cancer surgery
5. Robots enable scar-free hysterectomies for some women
6. OU research team developing robotic devices to aid infants with cerebral palsy
7. Robots in the home: Will older adults roll out the welcome mat?
8. HF/E researchers examine older adults willingness to accept help from robots
9. Robotic surgery outcomes data presented at head and neck cancer annual meeting
10. Can robots improve patient care in the ICU?
11. Robotic-assisted prostate cancer surgery drives up costs, UPMC study finds
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... The Foundation for Breast and Prostate Health (FBPH)—a ... with the award-winning creator and writer of Downton Abbey Julian Fellowes to host ... Union League of Philadelphia. , The benefit, titled “An Evening with Julian ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Specialty Ingredients (ASI) as their exclusive channel partner for the Nutraceutical Specialties products ... markets in the US, effective immediately. , “We are pleased to announce ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... California-based i2i Systems, a ... today that Michigan-based Family Health Center (FHC) has selected i2iTracks as their population ... was awarded the largest Affordable Care Act grant for Federally Qualified Health Centers ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... quality of life in the womb. "My last baby had high blood pressure due ... way for mothers to protect their babies from noise pollution as well as radio ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... In an interview with Andy ... a top ophthalmologist on Long Island’s east end. During the broadcast, entitled “Eyes: the ... and treatment of glaucoma and cataracts, and how a visit with his grandmother to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... KIRKLAND, Wash. , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of Post-Processing services, is pleased to announce a ... of medical imaging services. Building on its ISO-9001:2008 ... adopted and implemented comprehensive Core Lab protocols and ... wide variety of research activities.  Their Core Lab ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 Mexico Healthcare and Life Sciences ... Report 2015 . --> Pharmaboardroom releases its new 98-page ... Latin America , a country of over 122 million ... of over 122 million people. --> It offers companies, ... life sciences insights into the second largest pharma and healthcare market ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , November 30, 2015 Elbit ... the "Company") announced today that it was informed by InSightec ... Drug Safety (MFDS) has approved its Exablate Neuro system ... --> --> Insightec,s Exablate Neuro ... alternative that combines two technologies: Focused Ultrasound, which is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: