Minimally Invasive Procedures
New concepts for medical technology developed in ACMIT aim to serve as enabling factors for new and optimized ways for medical treatment with particular focus on minimally invasive procedures. Even if this technology already could reach the status of a “gold standard” for treatment of almost any pathology, there is still a high demand to further reduce invasiveness, e.g. by reduction of instrument size, reduction of surgical ports, or optimization of access routes towards the point of therapy in order to minimize traumatization of healthy tissue.
One particular aspect regarding minimally invasive procedures is a personalized therapy. The basic idea here lies in the customization of treatment – with medical decisions and practices being tailored to the individual patient. As one important starting point, diagnostic testing is often employed for selecting appropriate and optimal therapies based on the context of a patient’s genetic content or other molecular or cellular analysis. Research in ACMIT not only covers this point, but also works out methods in order to adapt treatment accordingly, i.e. by introduction of treatment monitoring and adaptation based on sensory information and development of a methodology for patient specific medical tools using cutting edge Additive Manufacturing technology.
To reach the aforementioned goals, ACMIT research and development activities are structured into four research areas.
Mechatronic and Information-driven Systems for Diagnosis and Therapy
This research area is dealing with the development of mechatronic devices for minimally invasive procedures, in particular medical instruments and robot systems for a more effective positioning and guiding of such tools. The second main task is about investigation of components for information-driven therapy, including novel methods for surgical navigation and advanced interaction concepts for instruments and robots.
Life Science Photonics
This research area is dealing with photonics in life science, i.e. development of fibre optic sensor systems as well as application of cutting edge optical concepts in the context of medical devices.
Human Factors and Technology Implementation
This research area supports the work in research areas Mechatronic and Information-driven Systems for Diagnosis and Therapy and Life Science Photonics by investigation of Human Factors during design, realization and implementation of new technology, which is being hosted in this research area. Activities range from exploration of concepts for participatory design, through usability oriented development in medical device development, up to methods and tools for verification, validation and training of new technology.
A careful and complete description of the surgical workflow can -among others- serve as a check-list in the operation room (OR), taking care that all different steps during the surgical procedure are taken at the right time in the right way.
Research results reveal that OR complications are less frequent when such surgical check-lists are being implemented. Also the use of simulators and training systems has a clear impact on efficiency and safety.
New techniques and tools can be tried out in a more systematic way, key situations can be practized in an interactive manner, and finally the learning curve can be shortened. With the introduction of such training systems, especially in combination with real patient data, a particular surgical situation can be examined before operation takes place.
By research on workflow optimization and skill transfer, ACMIT contributes to improved efficiency and reduced trauma of minimally invasive procedures.
Personalized Therapy Planning and Delivery
This research area is devoted to different aspects for an optimized therapy based on specific characteristics of the pathology. This area is dealing with novel approaches for optimal treatment planning including the use of modern Additive Manufacturing principles for dedicated templates and tools, but also methods for personalized therapy, such as information/sensor based adaptation of therapy parameters.