The Centre for Minimal Access Surgery       

Home \ Research\ Applied

Applied Research

In February 2003 Dr. Anvari performed the world’s first hospital-to-hospital telerobotic surgery over a telecommunications network. This surgery and the following 21 cases were part of a research program funded in part by the Canadian Health Information Partnership Program (Canadian Federal Agency) to prove the feasibility of mission critical telehealth applications over commercially available telecommunication networks.

The NEEMO 7 (October 2004) research project successfully evaluated the use of telementoring and telerobotic surgery in the provision of emergency diagnostic and surgical care by a non-physician surgeon in a space analogue environment. The partners in this program were the Canadian Space Agency, NASA and the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Centre (TATRC).

In April of 2006 CMAS, under the direction of Dr. Mehran Anvari, successfully performed NEEMO 9 which was an 18 day mission that built on the lessons learned from NEEMO 7. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate how the human brain adapts to increasing latencies (time delay) experienced during remote control of a robotic platform to complete a variety of complex telerobotic tasks whether surgical or other. In addition, we evaluated the ability to perform a variety of other (complementing NEEMO 7) emergency medical and surgical tasks by non-physicians using telementoring and telerobotic assisting, including anesthesia, radiology, orthopedics and fracture management. We also tested a number of new technologies developed through TATRC and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

McMaster Institute of Surgical Invention, Innovation and Education

The experience gained through CMAS’s research programs, hands-on telehealth applications and its increase in scope beyond educational initiatives prompted the creation of the McMaster Institute of Surgical Invention, Innovation and Education (MISIIE). The mandate of MISIIE was to undertake the research, development and commercialization of the next generation of surgical innovations.

Innovations in surgical techniques such as Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) are a growing part of the Institute. The First Canadian NOTES Symposium was held at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton on February 28th & 29th, 2008. During this two day symposium the future directions in the field of NOTES were explored and, as a result of this symposium and the momentum created within the group, a National NOTES Association was formed to assist in the establishment of a collaborative NOTES research and clinical program across Canada.

Surgical Robotic Platforms

Dr. Anvari, through his past robotic work and research endeavors, recognized that a significant investment needed to be made in the surgical robotic field in order to overcome some of the disadvantages of the currently available technology.

The development of the next generation of robotic platforms being undertaken by the Institute includes an Image Guided Automated Robot (IGAR) which is a single or double arm, automated, image guided system which will assist in the Minimally Invasive Surgery areas of breast biopsy, neurology, lung and liver biopsy,. Patents have been filed for all of the platforms above and the development work has begun.

The commercialization of these innovative technologies will allow Canada to participate in an expanding market resulting new employment and economic opportunities.