Invited talks

Keynote Speakers

Prof. Guang-Zhong Yang

Prof. Guang-Zhong Yang

Director and co-founder of the Hamlyn Center for Robotic Surgery

Professor Guang-Zhong Yang, PhD, FREng is Director and Co-founder of the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Deputy Chairman of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London, UK. Professor Yang also holds a number of key academic positions at Imperial – he is Director and Founder of the Royal Society/Wolfson Medical Image Computing Laboratory, co-founder of the Wolfson Surgical Technology Laboratory, Chairman of the Centre for Pervasive Sensing. Professor Yang’s main research interests are in medical imaging, sensing and robotics.


Title: "Medical Robotics - the next 25 years
Successes, Challenges, and the Road Ahead"

Surgical robotics has evolved from a niche research field 25 years ago to a rapidly advancing area of innovation, contributing to precision medicine, personalised healthcare, and quality-of-life improvements. The commercial successes of the current generation of surgical robotic systems have inspired new generation platforms from both commercial and research organisations, resulting in smaller, safer, and smarter devices that can have wider clinical impact and patient uptake. In this talk, we will look back through the last 25 years at how surgical robotics has evolved to a major area of innovation and development. With improved safety, efficacy and reduced costs, robotic platforms will soon approach a tipping point, moving beyond early adopters to become part of the mainstream surgical practice. These platforms will also drive the future of precision surgery, with a greater focus on early intervention and quality of life after treatment. We also project forward, particularly in line with the recently published grand challenges of science robotics, on how the field may reshape the future of medicine, as well as the associated technical, commercial, regulatory, and economic challenges that need to be overcome.

Prof. Jens J. Rassweiler

Prof. Jens J. Rassweiler

Founding member of the Section of Uro-Technology (ESUT) of the European Association of Urology (EAU)

Prof. Rassweiler studied Medicine at the Universities of Stuttgart, Freiburg and Tuebingen.. His urological education took place at the Katharinenhospital Stuttgart. Then he served as vice-chairman at Medical School Mannheim (Prof. Alken). He was the first German surgeon to perform a laparoscopic nephrectomy in 1992. Since 1994, he is head of the Department of Urology at SLK Kliniken Heilbronn, University of Heidelberg.


Title "Surgical robots beyond Da Vinci"

Jens J Rassweiler, Department of Urology SLK Kliniken Heilbronn, University of Heidelberg


The monopoly of robotic surgical devices of the last 15 years will end in 2019, because key-patents of Intuitive Surgical will expire. Thus, we can expect an interesing competition in the coming years. Based on personal experiences with robot-assisted surgery since 2001, we conducted a research of the current literature together with search of relevant patents in this field. Finally we visited the web-site of manufacturers of existing and future robotic surgical devices with possible applications in Urology. Such devices have to prove that they meet the high quality standard of the current Da Vinci-series (SI, X, XI). For this purpose we propose to classify the main features of the dfferent devices, such as type of console (closed / open), arrangement of robtic arms (single / multiple carts / attached to OR-table), type of 3D-videosystem (by mirror / ocular / using polarizing glasses) or degrees of reedom of endeffectors (5 vs. 7 DOF). In the meantime, there are also robotic systems used in endourology: Avicenna RoboflexR and  the AquaBeamR-System for robot-assisted aquablation therapy of the prostate. While RoboflexR improves the ergonomics of flexbile ureteroscopy –similar to the Da Vinci-robot, AquaBeamR may for the first time eliminate the surgeon, who only might be needed to manage severe postooperative bleeding.

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