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Surgical bots to be ubiquitous in Indian hosps

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credit: www.biomed.brown.edu

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

credit: www.intuitivesurgical.com
credit: www.intuitivesurgical.com

Chennai: Days are not far off when surgical robots will become a normal feature in hospitals for procedures like MRI scans, a senior official of Intuitive Surgical Inc. said on Sunday.

The US-based Intuitive Surgical makes surgical robots that enable minimally invasive surgeries with its da Vinci surgical systems. The primary surgical domains are urology, gynaecology, general surgery and cardiothoracic.

Jeroen MM van Heesewijk, senior vice president, Asia Pacific and Global Distribution said,”In India, we are infants in the technology adoption curve. Today a hospital without a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan machine is considered as a clinic.”

“Offering robotic surgeries will also give a boost to the countries medical tourism sector,” Mahendra Bhandari, CEO, Vattikuti Foundation, added while talking over the issue. Both were at Kochi to attend a two-day seminar on robotic surgery organised by Vattikuti Foundation.

According to van Heesewijk, India, China and Brazil, are important markets for Intuitive Surgical procedures. A total of 26 da Vinci systems are in operation in India at various hospitals. In India, Vattikuti Technologies is sole distributor and van Heesewijk said the company is not planning to go direct-selling directly to hospitals in India.

Van Heesewijk welcomed the tie-up between Google Inc. and Johnson & Johnson to work in the field of surgical robotics. According to him, the fact that two global players with deep pockets getting into robotics is a clear indication that robotic surgery segment will get a big boost.

Meanwhile, the Vattikuti Foundation is planning to increase the number of surgeons trained on robotic surgical systems to 300. Bhandari informed, “Presently, there are 147 surgeons trained in robotic surgeries in India. They do 300-400 robotic surgeries. Our target is to increase the surgeons trained in robotic surgeries to 300 by 2020.” According to him, when the foundation was started in 2009-10 there were only five or six surgeons trained to carry out robotic surgeries.

Queried whether the foundation would train surgeons only on da Vinci systems distributed in India, he said: “Intuitive Surgical is the market leader.” Bhandari said once a surgeon is trained, training him in other systems is not a big issue.”

On the advantages of robotic surgeries, he said the incision will be small and the loss of blood will be very minimal. He said the recovery of the patient is faster and the post-operative pain will also be less.

According to Bhandari, robotic procedures in India that cover a wide spectrum of procedures -cardiac, urology, general surgery, thoracic, gynaecology, head and neck, vascular and paediatrics – are expected to cross the 6,000 procedures mark in 2015.

With Inputs from IANS

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Here’s how MRI may Predict Intelligence Level in Children

MRI may predict intelligence level in children

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Researchers have found that MRI scanning can help predict the intelligence level in children. Pixabay

Researchers have used ensemble methods based on deep learning 3D analysis networks to answer the global Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) prevision challenge for children.

Importantly, they made predictions for both the fluid intelligence level and the target variable independent from age, gender, brain size or MRI scanner used.

MRI is a common technique used to obtain images of human internal organs and tissues. Scientists wondered whether the intelligence level can be predicted from an MRI brain image.

“Our team develops deep learning methods for computer vision tasks in MRI data analysis, amongst other things,” said study researcher Ekaterina Kondratyev from Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) in Russia.

“In this study, we applied ensembles of classifiers to 3D of super precision neural networks: with this approach, one can classify an image as it is, without first reducing its dimension and, therefore, without losing valuable information,” said Kondratyeva.

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) database contains a total of over 11,000 structural and functional MRI images of children aged 9-10.

MRI
MRI is a common technique used to obtain images of human internal organs and tissues. Pixabay

In 2013, NIH launched the first grand-scale study of its kind in adolescent brain research, Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development, to see if and how teenagers’ hobbies and habits affect their further brain development.

NIH scientists launched an international competition, making the enormous NIH database available to a broad community for the first time ever.

The participants were given a task of building a predictive model based on brain images.

As part of the competition, the Skoltech team applied neural networks for MRI image processing.

To do this, they built a network architecture enabling several mathematical models to be applied to the same data in order to increase the prediction accuracy, and used a novel ensemble method to analyse the MRI data.

In their recent study, Skoltech researchers focused on predicting the intelligence level, or the so called “fluid intelligence”, which characterises the biological abilities of the nervous system and has little to do with acquired knowledge or skills.

Importantly, they made predictions for both the fluid intelligence level and the target variable independent from age, gender, brain size or MRI scanner used.

Also Read- Severity of Autism Spectrum Disorder Varies Among Twins: Study

The results of the study helped find the correlation between the child’s “fluid intelligence” and brain anatomy.

Although the prediction accuracy is less than perfect, the models produced during this competition will help shed light on various aspects of cognitive, social, emotional and physical development of adolescents. (IANS)