ITGS Syllabus

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Topic 203

Diagnostic and therapeutic tools: robotic surgery, prosthetic devices, diagnostic software, drug development and marketing by Matthew

Robotic surgery is used today in lieu of real services from real surgeons. Although absolute unmanned surgery is extremely uncommon, robotic surgery for procedures that require tremendous precision and accuracy is quite common in modern societies. Robotic surgical procedures are essentially used only as tools to extend the surgical skills of a trained surgeon. An example of an actual application of robotic surgical devices is a surgery that took place in the United States. The surgery, which took place in 1985, consisted of a robot, the PUMA 560, inserting a needle for a brain biopsy using CT guidance. In 1988, the PROBOT was used to perform prostatic surgery in England. A complete unmanned surgery took place for the first time last year in Italy.

Prosthetic devices are typically used to replace lost body parts. Common prosthetic devices include artificial limbs, breast prosthesis, cochlear implants, corrective lenses, craniofacial prosthesis, dental prosthetics, facial prosthetics, hair prosthetics, neuroprosthetics, ocular prosthetics, ostomies, penile prosthetics, replacement joints, and somato prosthetics. Prosthetics devices as a whole generally help humans be more efficient even without real human body parts.

Diagnostic programs are written for the purpose of examining the state, or locating problems with patients. Diagnostic programs range in nature, from software where a doctor is able to input information about the patient and look up possible diagnoses that the software brings up, to programs where doctors search for symptoms and are given potential diseases or conditions by the program. Diagnostic programs still require doctors and do not completely take away the skills of a trained medical professional. It rather helps the professional be more efficient in his or her work.

Drug development is a relatively rigorous process that is heavily monitored by government officials. It is defined in many pharmaceutical companies as the process of taking a new chemical lead through the stages necessary to allow it to be tested on human volunteers in clinical trials.


Diagnostic and therapeutic tools: robotic surgery, prosthetic devices, diagnostic software, drug development and marketing by Taro

Technology has and always will help greatly with giving therapies and diagnoses to certain patients. Let us take a look at some of the robotic surgeries that exist today. The one that might be most widely known by ordinary people is application of robot on cardiac surgery. The robot acts so that it establishes a bypass or so that it replaces malfunctioned valves, which control the blood flow, with new ones. Another important role of robots would be apparent in neurosurgery, where there are corrections of spinal malformations.

The robots move almost exactly like a professional surgeon's hand movement. They are imputted what to do in advance. With the same method, they are also successful in removing brain tumors. If we were to focus on diagnostic tools, we would probably take notice of a stomach camera. Recently, there has been a development with this technology, allowing it to be contained in a capsule so that the patients can simply swallow it and excrete it few days later.

As it's traveling inside the body, the capsule rotates number of times which enables it to take shots from every angle. Before the improvement, the diagnoses had to be made in a short period of time, because the camera had a wire and so the patients had to have their mouth open for the whole time. This was a very suffering operation. If we hear the term prosthetic device, it would be likely for us to image artificial arms or legs.

These days, not only are they put on for substitutes of appearance, but are equipped on the patients as complete replacement, meaning they function just like real arms and legs. This is usually done in a pretty complicated procedure. For example a person with a lost arm would have an artificial arm attached on him by connecting thin wires inside it with the nerve fibers of where they were cut off. After that, a special battery pack is provided and that is implanted in the new arm or placed outside with wires connected on it.

Often the battery has to be outside because in the case of recharging, it would be inconvenient if it's built in the arm. When everything is positioned properly, the power is turned on and the electric current flows into the artificial arm, and eventually through the nerve fibers all the way to the brain. The brain receives the signal and sends back a different signal, this time giving an instruction of what to do to the arm. With that, the artifical arm manages to work as a body part. Another prosthetic device would be artifical eyes. There is more difficulty producing these, since they have to be able to transfer the images in front of them to make the brain recognize the images.

Also the operation of attaching them is a hard task, because of the fact that eyes are positioned near the brain, and it has a risk of damaging it. Now the engineers are trying to improve the device for it to consume various colors and make the brain know those. The ones that are out in the world right now are not functioning enough and are sending blurr images. Other than eyes, arms and legs, there are ears, nose, and jaws too. For all of them, electrical current is used.

Diagnostic and therapeutic tools: robotic surgery, prosthetic devices, diagnostic software, drug development and marketing by Vaibhav

Robotic Surgery

Robotic Surgery is the use of robots in performing a surgery. This technology was first applied in the year 1985 by a robot named "Cody Evader" in England. Robotic surgery is used to perform surgeries which require the doctor to manually insert machines into small incisions in the human body. Hence to ease this and to be less invasive to the human body doctors use robotic surgery and view organs being worked which are transmitted from tiny cameras inserted into the human body. Using this technology the patients recover much faster after a surgery as it causes less pain and scarring. In addition to this robotic surgery also enables "telesurgery" as the surgeon and the patient are separated by an electronic console. Hence this can allow the surgeon to perform surgery in a remote location. Robotic surgery is applied in cardiac surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, gynecology and neurosurgery.

Prosthetic Devices

Prosthetic devices are artificial medical body parts made to replace missing extremities for example an artificial limb. Scientists are trying to make prosthetic devices which replace healthy body parts with artificial mechanisms, although such technology has still not emerged. With the current devices the following body parts can be replaced but cannot be mechanically functioned through the brain such as the legs, arms, hands, feet, and most other body parts can be replaced.

Diagnostic Software

Diagnostic software's are designed to diagnose a mental disorder in robots. Since the nature of illness with robots is different to that of humans, a different type of treatment is required. Diagnosis of such mental disorders are found in AI (Artificial Intelligence) :-

Inferiority Complex – This happens when an AI finds another AI to be superior which causes the AI to lead itself into self-doubt or misery.

Schizophrenia – When an AI visualizes that it may split or copy itself into identical copies it will start feeling either powerful or diminished, unique or common, special or ordinary.

Jealousy –Will cause the AI to form robot labor unions and refuse to do demeaning labor.

Paranoia – If the AI realizes that its internal software has had subtle manipulations the AI will be paralyzed with paranoia.

Drug Development & Marketing

Drug development is defined in many pharmaceutical companies as the process of testing whether a medical drug is ready to be sold in the market. This process is known as human clinical trials in which the drug is tested and studied in detail. Aspects of drug development measure the toxicity of drugs. The drug toxicity must be under a certain level for it to satisfy the regulatory requirements of drug licensing authorities.


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