AUTOMATIC ULTRASOUND-GUIDED NEEDLE INSERTION
HANDS is a platform technology for automatic ultrasound-guided needle insertion.
Many modern clinical practices involve percutaneous (through the skin) diagnosis and local therapies. During these procedures a, thin tubular devices (needles, catheters, tissue ablation probes, etc.) inserted into soft inhomogeneous deep tissue to reach the target. There are several applications for percutaneous needle insertion such as biopsies, regional anesthesia, blood sampling, neurosurgery and brachytherapy.
One third of initial insertion attempts failed to get into correct position of the needles into the blood vessels. Furthermore, the efficiency of such a treatment and the success or precision of a diagnosis are both highly dependents on the accuracy of percutaneous insertion. In the clinical practice there is no tolerance for inaccuracy of the needle insertion. Insertions with less needle misplacement results with more effective treatment and increase the precision of diagnosis.
In the last few years a group from LAR at Ben Gurion University has been working on an automatic technology for needle insertions using robotic technics. The system is able to detect blood vessels and identified their edges inside the body. The first prototype of the device has two degrees of freedom and inserted manually. The devise attracts a lot of attention from the media and have potential to enter the practice.