Wednesday December 11, 2019
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Surgical bots to be ubiquitous in Indian hosps


By NewsGram Staff-Writer


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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Hackers can Easily Change Patient’s MRI, CT Scan Results

The researchers suggested several solutions, such as enabling encryption between the hosts in the hospital’s radiology network, digital signatures with a secure mark on each scan or hidden digital watermarks

Representational image.

Patients’ CT and MRI scan results can be easily changed by hackers, thereby deceiving radiologists and Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms that diagnose malignant tumours, Israeli researchers have warned.

The researchers from the Ben-Gurion University (BGU) showed that hackers could access to add or remove medical conditions from lung cancer scans for the purposes of insurance fraud, ransom and even murder, Xinhua news agency reported.

As part of the attack, the hacker has full control over the number, size and location of the cancers while preserving the anatomy from the original, full resolution three-dimensional (3D) image.

To prove the feasibility of the attacks, the researchers broke with permission into an actual hospital network to intercept all CT (computed tomography) scans.

Although the hospital internal network is not connected to the internet, hackers can access it via the hospital’s WiFi or physical access to the infrastructure, the researchers said.

hackers, hacking group, military
iDefense said the hackers are likely affiliated with a group known as MUDCARP, and also referred to as TEMP.PERISCOPE, Periscope and Leviathan. Pixabay

To inject and remove medical conditions, the researchers used a deep learning neural network called a generative adversarial network (GAN), which has been used in the past to generate realistic imagery, such as portraits of non-existent people.

After the “attack” the radiologists at the hospital misdiagnosed 99 per cent of the scans showing malignant tumours, and 94 per cent of altered images with cancerous images removed.

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After the radiologists were informed about the attack, they still misdiagnosed 60 per cent of altered scans falsely showing tumours and 87 per cent of those falsely showing no sign of the tumour, the report showed.

The researchers suggested several solutions, such as enabling encryption between the hosts in the hospital’s radiology network, digital signatures with a secure mark on each scan or hidden digital watermarks. (IANS)