Among the fields in which moving even a small distance in the wrong direction can lead to disaster: surgery and robotic operations. With recent innovations like the da Vinci Surgical System, the latter is being deployed more and more to improve accuracy in the operating room.
And now, surgeons are starting to get a bit of robotic help from above—way above. The Canadian Space Agency’s robotic Canadarm boom and manipulator has been used for decades to snatch satellites and move astronauts around during spacewalks. Some of that same technology is now being applied for surgeries on Earth.
Fixing heart defects in children can be complicated, and the more information doctors can get before surgery the better.
To help provide that information, Justin Ryan, an artist turned biomedical engineer, is using his technical skills as an artist to make three-dimensional models of a heart to help doctors operate on children’s hearts.
Electronic medical records now exist for millions of people. The data locked within them represent a giant trove that researchers could potentially mine to uncover lifesaving secrets. Now scientists have delved into these records to complete the first large-scale analysis of genetic variants and the medical problems linked with them.