RoboDoc | Breakthrough Funding

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


How much would you trust a robot to carry out your surgery?

Can you imagine if some sort of humanoid AI had been to medical school and is now the chief surgeon about to remove your appendix? Crazy! Also, not quite the case, unfortunately. That would be cool though, right? One day. One day.

Anyway, I’ve been looking at a lot of MedTech lately and it’s all suddenly got pretty Star Trek. It’s amazing. We now live in a world where your stitches can communicate how your wound is healing. That’s right, smart thread. Let that sink in for a moment. That thread knows it has a job! Long gone are the days of falling out of a tree and having to hunt through your mum’s sewing tin to fix your knee. Thankfully.

We’ve also now got tiny, pill sized origami robots that you can swallow in development. These little bots go exploring in your gut and remove other things you’ve (hopefully accidentally) swallowed that could be harmful, like batteries. It sounds a bit There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, except you only have to gulp down one thing after the baddy and it’s actually genuinely helpful.

Earlier this year there was a rather large study that found robots to be just as good at prostate surgery as traditional human doctors. These robots are admittedly still controlled by a real life surgeon, but patients reported:

  • less pain doing day to day activities a week later
  • better overall physical quality of life after six weeks which levelled out over time
  • far less blood loss and spent less time in hospital
  • no difference in urinary and sexual function
  • no difference in the number of complications


Perhaps more surgeons need multiple robot arms, including one with a camera. No one would be be able to stop RoboDoc!

If you’re building a medical professional of the future, please do let us know - you see I’ve got this dodgy knee - only joking! Well, not about the knee, but my interest in your robot building skills goes further than that, we’d probably make a great team. Especially once I’m a cyborg. Give us a call on 0800 772 0800.

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