Research

Operating Theatre of the Future

Surgical techniques with calculated accuracy

The implementation of robot-assisted, high complexity operations in surgery is taking place steadily. The combination of the knowledge and expertise in robotics, navigation and computer technology at FSE and a high-quality, innovative research team in the surgical discipline at UMCG takes this research line to a higher level. Computer-assisted surgery technology in conjunction with robot-assisted surgery will ensure greater accuracy in minimally invasive procedures. Patient risk is in turn minimised, and operations are performed more quickly and with higher efficiency.

The available robotic surgical systems will evolve in the direction of high-tech computer platforms, in which diagnostics and multi-modular treatments will be integrated. Procedures will be better adapted to individual patients through the increased use of artificial intelligence during diagnosis, in fine-tuning the schedule as well as in the execution of the operation. Current developments within HTRIC include integration of perioperative ‘decision control’ in the next generation of robot platforms as well as the improvement of robot arm placement in robotic surgery and the development of nano-robotics in close collaboration with the University of Twente.

The use of new technologies in the operating theatre must be addressed collectively and be optimised in a clinical setting. For this reason, healthcare logistics in relation to complex procedures is playing an increasingly important role and must be developed further. As a testing location for the operating theatre complex, the skills centre is a crucial factor in this development.

Leading example:

Leading Role in Optical Imaging

In oncological surgery it is essential to remove all tumor tissue, while sparing as much adjacent healthy tissue as possible. The UMCG plays a leading role internationally in optical imaging through the use of tumor-specific fluorescent-labelled probes during surgery in order to enhance difficult, clinical decision-making.

The OMIG research group has multiple research lines in which a variety of expertise come together, such as the chemical development of fluorescent tracers, the technological development of optical imaging and the digital development of software and analysis techniques. Collaborations with PRA Health Sciences, Li-COR, SurgVision/Bracco and Philips indicate that the industry is extremely interested in these developments.