Respected and acclaimed as rock stars in the arcane universe of life sciences, global scientists converged in Stockholm in late August this year for the annual Swedish American Life Science Summit (SALSS) meeting, where they unveiled and dissected revolutionary health care platforms. Among them are the use of robotics in surgery, how nanotechnology may make us "forever young,” applications of space technology in life sciences, and the “Moonshot” cancer program initiated by former Vice President Joseph Biden............
“Part of this year’s conference focus was the current transformation of the HealthTech industry, driven by the ICT and tech players rather than by the traditional medtech companies,” said Barbro C. Ehnbom, chairman and founder of SALSS. Also significant, she added, was the participation of numerous women at this year’s summit, led by the keynote speaker Dr. Bahija Jallal, executive vice president at AsraZeneca and head of Medimmune. “ We are proud and glad that so many prominent women are actually SALSS women, including Dr. Jallal, which made this 2017 summit more exceptional,” said Ms. Ehnbom.
One of the little known companies that attracted a lot of attention at the conference was AVRA Medical Robotics, a development-stage company based in Orlando, Florida, that has a new generation of “semi-autonomous medical robots for image-capture, navigation, and tissue targeting.”
Specifically, these “medical robots” perform computer-assisted surgery, with human medical surgeons operating a remote surgical device via a console. In fact, they are not really robots as we know them: AVRA has developed a "novel and truly robotic single-arms platform for the field of aesthetics, skin and wound care as well as dermato-plastic surgery,” said Barry F. Cohen, AVRA’s CEO and founder. The company’s first design integrates software, image guidance, navigation and targeting systems, to allow autonomous needling of skin, he explained.
“The future of surgery will be determined by success in gaining precision access to anny area of the human body with the smallest incisions and deploying therapies to specific tissues, glands and organs,” asserted Alen York, an AVRA senior executive. Limitations in conventional surgeries, he said, are "demanding more autonomous, intelligent robot systems that go beyond the capability of a human being.”
AVRA’S platform focused on needling technology "represents a key breakthrough in aesthetics, wound care, and autonomous drug delivery platforms, integration of artificial intelligence and augmented reality that will allow,” says York, for a new paradigm in surgical training, planning and treatment.
AVRA was organized by a senior leadership team with broad and deep experience in medical research, innovation, and development in the medical robotics field. The company plans to exploit the growing demand for practical medical robotic devices by developing a platform—independent precision guidance system with an initial focus on skin resurfacing.
We believe that our Executive Management and Medical and Scientific Advisors have the demonstrated experience and professional skills to develop and market our robotic system successfully.
Our management team has had direct design, engineering and manufacturing experience in complex mechanical operations as well as the administration and supervision of the corporate activities of small and large enterprises ranging from pharma to telecommunications.
Our Medical Advisory Board consists of a number of surgeons who were active in the formative stages of robotic surgery in the United States and who today are numbered the most acknowledged and productive physicians in their specialties. (AVRA Leadership)
AVRA believes that its comprehensive and diverse team brings the necessary resources to develop and commercialize intelligent medical robotic systems, as well as in marketing, chain management, and the implementation of all other aspects of business operations.
AVRA Medical Robot
AVRA Medical Robot
The AVRA Medical Robotics System
AVRA CONCEPT IN MULTIPLE SETTINGS
The AVRA Medical Robotics Systems' lightweight portability will allow for easy use in physicians clinics, ambulatory settings, and outpatients facilities alike.
AVRA is focusing on truly innovative technology that is in line with current applications but delivers an innovative approach. AVRA is integrating image-guidance with navigation and organ-targeting to bring a system that is truly diverse and multidimensional. Having identified limitations in the predominantly non-autonomous systems, AVRA proposes a disruptive model, which considers design and development through a seamless collaboration of the surgeon, the engineer, and the scientist.
For skin resurfacing, AVRA plans to take advantage of recent technological improvements in motors, materials, and in high-resolution imaging to use robotic devices to assist the surgeon to autonomously or semi-autonomously treat damaged skin. Presently, we are not aware of any commercially available robotic devices designed for this application.
New Initiative In Medical Robotics To Address Major Market Opportunities
Medical robots are realizing their potential in terms of improved accuracy, visualization and applications with their use expanding. Current medical robotic devices are typically large in-place systems with procedure-specific configurations requiring the assistance of the physician or operator.
AVRA Medical Robotics, Inc. "AVRA" has identified the significant need for a programmable autonomous robotic system with integrated image-guidance navigation in a single arm capable of modular configurations. It will be compact, rapidly programmable, procedurally wide-ranging, cost-effective and capable of performing minimally invasive procedures, such as biopsies, to more invasive surgical interventions both in an ambulatory setting and the operating room.
Toward this objective, in May 2016 AVRA partnered with the University of Central Florida College of Engineering and Computer Science to develop the algorithms, sensors, navigation and control components of the system. The College is particularly recognized for its work in the area of robotic research and design. Chair Professor Zhihua Qu and Research Professor Eytan Pollak are leading the program.
Professors Qu and Pollak have extensive backgrounds in the development of computer-operated systems that encompass the integration of tools and sensors, real-time image/data processing, navigation, control and human-machine interface. AVRA has filed for six provisional patents and is working with the College to file additional patents based on the work completed so far.
In reviewing marketing opportunities, we have initially identified a current, high-priority, fast growing market with a especially fitting and fully compatible use for our device - the skin resurfacing market.
–Three applications dominate that market –
Botox Laser Treatments and Micro-Needling (dermabrasion)
AVRA will initially focus on the micro-needling segment where we believe the use of our programmed, semi-autonomous robotic device with the appropriate tools, will comprehensively treat wrinkled skin with a precision beyond what is possible with manual application. The Company hopes these results will lead to an expansion of the micro-needling segment of the total resurfacing market. Presently, we are not aware of any commercially available robotic devices designed for this application.
The target for AVRA’s first planned medical robotic system, the non-surgical skin resurfacing market, has experienced explosive growth and is foreseen to continue this fast growth well into the future.
On February 14, 2017, AVRA filed a Registration on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission covering the resale of certain of our outstanding shares of common stock with a view to becoming a fully reporting public company.
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