SOFAR licenses Immersion's TouchSense haptics technology for use in ALF-X telesurgical robot system

Immersion Corporation (NASDAQ:IMMR), the leading developer and licensor of haptics technology, today announced that SOFAR S.p.A., a leading Italian manufacturer of medical devices for minimally invasive surgery, has obtained a license to Immersion's TouchSense haptics technology for use in its ALF-X (Advanced Laparoscopy through Force Reflection) telesurgical robot system. TouchSense will provide haptic feedback in the cockpit/console from which surgeons control and manipulate the system, engaging the sense of touch to assist in device navigation and laparoscopic procedures. The license represents momentum for Immersion in the growing robotics surgery market.

“With the evolution and innovations of technology, it is critical that surgeons don't lose their sense of touch”

SOFAR developed ALF-X in conjunction with the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). The system employs a range of features covering tactile sensing capabilities, versatility, safety and ease of use to improve the quality of laparoscopic surgical procedures. ALF-X is intended for use in hospitals, universities, medical training center and research organizations worldwide.

"While the technological advances in laparoscopic and robotic surgery have improved outcomes and extended the reach of practitioners, they've created a physical distance," said Craig Vachon, Senior Vice President of Immersion. "SOFAR clearly understands the value of touch feedback in live surgery; our TouchSense technology bridges that distance and provides the tactile cues that inform a surgeon, ultimately improving procedure quality and resulting in optimum patient care."

A market that initially reached $1 billion in 2008, surgical robotics equipment is forecasted to reach $14 billion by 2014 (Piribo). Immersion's expertise in intuitive programmable haptics will enable innovators such as SOFAR to integrate critical touch feedback in devices for the quickly growing segment.

"With the evolution and innovations of technology, it is critical that surgeons don't lose their sense of touch," said Dr. Alfonso Labruzzo, chief executive officer of SOFAR. "With Immersion's industry-leading haptics, we are able to provide the critical element of touch feedback to surgeons in our ALF-X system, and provide them with an exceptional surgical solution."




The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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