New robotic surgical system hopes to rival da Vinci in the UK | Innovation

A new robotic surgery system has been unveiled by a UK medtech company with the hope of improving access for patients needing minimally invasive surgery in the NHS.

The new system, Versius, is expected to be a major rival to the American Vinci robot which is installed in over 70 NHS hospitals across the UK.

Versius has been designed by the Cambridge-based company CMR Surgical, whose mission is to provide greater access to minimally invasive surgery.

Robotic systems aren’t a new phenomenon for surgery but their uptake has been slow due to both the cost of buying systems and their size.

When CMR Surgical designed Versius last year, CEO Martin Frost explained that robotic systems are “phenomenally expensive”.

“Not only do they cost £2m each to buy but every procedure costs an extra £3,000 using the robot – and they are very large. Many hospitals have to use the operating theatre around the robot,” Frost said.

Versius is different to other robotic surgery systems as it uses a modular design allowing it to be easily moved between operating rooms and hospitals and set up quickly. The system’s individually cart-mounted arms mimic the human arms, giving surgeons control over instruments through a range of ergonomic operating positions. The company that the system’s open surgeon console will help reduce stress and fatigue for clinicians.

Versius is set to be used within the NHS from next year and is currently undergoing clinical studies for regulatory approval in Europe.

Medical director for CMR Surgical and NHS consultant at Addenbrooke’s Hospital said Versius is “radically different” to other systems currently available on the market.

Versius is designed to help patients undergoing minimally invasive surgery through increased recovery times, better clinical outcomes and reduced trauma.

“We believe Versius represents a paradigm shift in surgery. The ground-breaking design, coupled with genuine affordability, means that patients everywhere have the potential to benefit from the advantages of minimal access surgery. Versius is a great example of British and its launch represents a pivotal moment in the next chapter of surgery and patient care,” Frost said.

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