Cambridge-based firm unveils surgical robotic system to be used by NHS hospitals
[Cambridge, UK] A new robotic system designed and built by CMR Surgical for minimal access surgery will be used in NHS hospitals next year.
Unveiled this week, the new system, called Versius, is expected to compete with the American da Vinci robot created by Intuitive Surgical, which has been used in the NHS for more than 15 years.
Dr Mark Slack, CMR Surgical Medical Director and former Head of Gynaecology at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, said Versius was ‘radically different’ to other systems currently on the market.
The robot’s individually cart-mounted arms are reportedly able to mimic the dexterity and range of movement in a surgeon’s arm, and the company says it will be ‘flexible enough’ to manage a variety of laparoscopic procedures, while its design will allow it to be easily moved around the operating room.
The Cambridge-based firm is currently carrying out preclinical trials to demonstrate the system’s ability to perform upper gastrointestinal, gynaecological, colorectal and renal surgery; Versius does not currently have FDA 510(K) clearance and it is not CE Marked.
CMR Surgical says it expects the system to be used in NHS hospitals and other countries across Europe starting next year, while the company eyes a wider international expansion.
Martin Frost, CMR Surgical CEO, said the launch of Versius represented ‘a pivotal moment in the next chapter of surgery and patient care’.
In June, the company announced that it closed a Series B financing round of £75m ($100m), thought to be largest medical device funding raise of its kind in Europe.
Professor Shafi Ahmed, Consultant General, Laparoscopic and Colorectal Surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust, dubbed the ‘virtual surgeon’, told BJ-HC many robotic surgical systems would ‘soon come to market’, driving down costs and enabling wider access to the ‘surgical robot’.