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SAFROS - Patient Safety in Robotic Surgery

SAFROS - Patient Safety in Robotic Surgery

Dr. Jörg Raczkowsky

project group:



Seventh Framework Programme





This Large-scale integrating project (IP) addresses the development of technologies for patient safety in robotic surgery. We define patient safety metrics for surgical procedures and then develop methods that abide by safety requirements, formulated in terms of our metrics. We aim at demonstrating that a properly controlled robotic surgery carried out in accordance to our safety criteria can improve the level of patient safety currently achievable by traditional surgery.

The main innovative aspects of this project are:

  1. Research driven by patient-safety requirements
  2. Emphasis on methodological rigor: development of a methodology founded in evidence-based medicine
  3. Scope: the entire surgical workflow is considered for development and validation.

Along with considering the entire surgical workflow, SAFROS focuses on innovative development of methods for the following technologies:  

  • Soft organ modeling and calibration, considering patient pathologies and anatomical variants
  • Simulation planning in deformable environments
  • Intra-operative registration and workflow monitoring
  • Robot modeling and performance monitoring
  • Surgeon training
  • Operator interface with integrated stereovision and haptics

New methods are integrated and validated on two distinct surgical robots (MIRO and RAMS), with respect to two inherently different contexts (pancreatic and vascular surgery). We quantitatively validate the adherence of our methods to the safety criteria, using surgical phantoms and animals. By comparing across robots and surgical contexts we draw conclusions about the generality of our approach.

The SAFROS consortium comprises:

  • Hospitals with worldwide reputation, which provide medical knowledge and can validate our approach
  • Europe’s leading research groups in telerobotics and surgical robotics
  • Innovative companies, to develop new technologies for surgical simulators
  • World Health Organizations, with worldwide influence on surgical safety regulations
  • Renowned educational organizations, to innovate surgeon training methods

Partners in SAFROS project:

  1. University of Verona, Italy (coordinator)
  2. Fondazione Centro San Raffaele del Monte Tabor, Italy
  3. Tallinn University of Technology, Estland
  4. German Aerospace Center, Germany
  5. University of Karlsruhe, Germany
  6. School of Pedagogical and Technological Education, Greece
  7. World Health Organization, Switzerland
  8. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
  9. Holografika, Hungary
  10. Force Dimension, Switzerland