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Indian Origin Researcher part of Team that developed Automated Robotic Drill, will perform Surgery in 2.5 minutes

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Doctors performing surgery on a patient., Wikimedia
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New York, May 1, 2017: A computer-driven automated drill that could perform a type of complex cranial surgery 50 times faster — decreasing the operating time from two hours to 2.5 minutes — has been developed by researchers, including one of the Indian-origin.

A translabyrinthine surgery is performed to expose slow-growing, benign tumours that form around the auditory nerves.

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For such complex surgeries, surgeons typically use hand drills to make intricate openings, adding hours to a procedure and may also increase the risks of loss of facial movement.

However, the new automated machine replaces hand drills to produce fast, clean, and safe cuts, reducing the time the wound is open and the patient is anesthetised, thereby decreasing the incidence of infection, human error, and surgical cost.

“I was interested in developing a low-cost drill that could do a lot of the grunt work to reduce surgeon fatigue,” said A.K. Balaji, Associate Professor at the University of Utah in the US.

The drill, which could play a pivotal role in future surgical procedures like hip implants, was developed from scratch to meet the needs of the neurosurgical unit, as well as developed software that sets a safe cutting path, the researchers said in the paper reported in the journal Neurosurgical Focus.

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First, the patient is imaged using a CT scan to gather bone data and identify the exact location of sensitive structures, such as nerves and major veins and arteries that must be avoided. Surgeons use this information to programme the cutting path of the drill.

In addition, the surgeon can programme safety barriers along the cutting path within 1 mm of sensitive structures.

If the drill gets too close to the facial nerve and irritation is monitored during surgery, the drill automatically turns off. (IANS)

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Researchers Develop Novel Device to Improve Diagnosis of Dizziness

In this technology, detailed in the journal Medical Devices: Evidence and Research, the sound levels which patients are exposed to can be minimised

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Dizziness
Novel device to improve diagnosis of dizziness.

Researchers have developed a new vibrating device using bone conduction technology, that can identify the causes of dizziness.

Half of older adults over 65 years suffer from dizziness and problems with balance. However, the current tests to identify the causes of such problems are painful and can risk hearing damage.

The novel type of vibrating device, developed by researchers from the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, is placed behind the ear of the patient during the test.

According to Bo Hakansson, Professor at Chalmers, the vibrating device is small and compact in size, and optimised to provide an adequate sound level for triggering the reflex at frequencies as low as 250 hertz (Hz).

But in bone conduction transmission, sound waves are transformed into vibrations through the skull, stimulating the cochlea within the ear, in the same way as when sound waves normally go through the ear canal, the eardrum and the middle ear.

Dizziness
Dizziness. Pixabay

In this technology, detailed in the journal Medical Devices: Evidence and Research, the sound levels which patients are exposed to can be minimised.

“The new vibrating device provides a maximum sound level of 75 decibels. The test can be performed at 40 decibels lower than today’s method using air conducted sounds through headphones,” said Karl-Johan Freden Jansson, postdoctoral researcher at Chalmers.

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“This eliminates any risk that the test itself could cause hearing damage,” Jansson added.

The benefits also include safer testing for children, and that patients with impaired hearing function due to chronic ear infections or congenital malformations in the ear canal and middle ear can be diagnosed for the origin of their dizziness, the researchers said. (IANS)