Innovation just for the sake of innovation is not valuable anymore. The current developments in healthcare must meet a specific market need or fulfill the needs of patients and surgeons.
In order to improve healthcare, researchers and designers must know their end-users and their daily struggles to be able to deliver a valuable product. Surge-on Medical tackles this issue by working with a group of more than 10 surgeons from different hospitals in the Netherlands to ensure that the products we are placing on the market are exactly what the surgeons need.
To understand their needs better, Dr. Roelf Postema, a general and laparoscopic surgeon from Amsterdam UMC and Spijkenisse Medical Centre, shared his views on the current instrumentation available for surgeons, and how Surge-on Medical’s instruments tackle a long-standing issue.
Dr. Postema has had the opportunity to try the Steerable Grasper (from the laparoscopic line) and the PoLaRS-VR (the Portable Laparoscopy Robot System-Virtual Reality) in a variety of tests.
Surge-on Medical: Are you satisfied with the current surgical instruments in your field?
Dr. Postema: No, they could be better.
Surge-on Medical: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges that surgeons face regarding instrumentation?
Dr. Postema: Safety, so that we don’t have to apply massive force in order to get the desired action from the instruments. Another important challenge is the constant exchange of instruments: we need fewer changes which means that we would like to have just one single instrument that can be used for different purposes.
Surge-on Medical: What do you think about Surge-on Medical’s steerable technology? Do you see the multi-degrees of freedom instruments useful, as an advantage?
Dr. Postema: The Steerable Grasper is indeed a nice new technology. Having a diameter of just 5 mm, this grasper is pretty thin and even easily cleanable! Additionally, this is a revolutionary technology which can lead to performing advanced laparoscopic procedures without the help or need of a robot. Regarding the PoLaRS-VR trainer, it is nice, especially because it is highly portable. But I might add that it is yet not as intuitive to use as I would like it to be.
Surge-on Medical: Thanks for your feedback! As PoLaRS-VR is still being developed, we will implement your comments in the coming development phase. Are you familiar with other steerable instruments in laparoscopy, apart from the Steerable Grasper? Are you satisfied?
Dr. Postema: No, I do not know of any other steerable instruments.
Surge-on Medical: What motivates you to try innovations such as the Steerable Grasper?
Dr. Postema: The thing about the Steerable Grasper is that it bridges the gap between high-cost robotic surgery and normal laparoscopy that does not offer this degree of freedom. It’s like having robotic technology and movements but in a handheld instrument.
Surge-on Medical: Is there anything else you want to say about Surge-on Medical or about our products to the public?
Dr. Postema: For sure! They’re a highly motivated and innovative team!
It’s by trials and feedback from enthusiastic surgeons like Dr. Postema that Surge-on Medical is capable of developing the instruments that surgeons need. If you happen to be or to know a surgeon who would like to take a look at our freedimensional instruments, get in touch with us.
(Updated on June 9th, 2020. Links to the funding page removed as funding successfully completed).