First-in-human of NaoTrac in Hualian Tzuchi Hospitals

“NaoTrac” the First Autopilot Surgical Robot for Brain Surgery

NaoTrac is a robotic-assisted surgical system for brain surgery with autopilot navigation. It is designed and produced by Brain Navi Biotechnology, a Taiwan-based startup. The device combines AI, machine vision and robotic technology to provide a procedural solution for surgical planning, precise anatomical location of the patient and accurate handling of instruments.

“Long operation time and high demand of concentration have consumed a lot of physical stamina of the surgeon and affect the surgeon’s performance,” said Jerry Chen, M.D., CEO of Brain Navi Biotechnology. “Therefore, our device can act like an assistant for the surgeon which can help the surgeon standardize the operation and provide a higher degree of accuracy throughout the surgery.”

 On 7th November 2018, NaoTrac performed its First-in-Human trial at Hualien Tzu-Chi Medical Center. It executed an external ventricular drainage (EVD) on a hydrocephalus patient. The device implemented the EVD tube in just 30 second and a post-operative CT showed the tube was placed in the exact location which the surgeon had planned before the surgery.

“Utilizing NaoTrac to perform EVD not only reduces anesthesia time, it also improves the patient’s well-being by means of less invasive interventions. Most importantly, it has increased the degree of accuracy of the surgery to 0.01~0.2 cm,” said Shinn-Zong Lin, M.D. PhD., Superintendent of Hualien Tzu-Chi Medical Center. Dr. Lin also mentioned that “In the fields of immunotherapy, cell transplant, microchip implantation, etc., high degree of accuracy is required. Therefore, NaoTrac not only has the ability to execute EVD or tumor resection, it also has the potential to collaborate with these fields.”

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