Robotic intervention

Robotic intervention

2007

Introduction of robotic arm leads to groundbreaking operations to treat patients for fast or irregular heartbeats. This technological revolution is being used at St Mary’s Hospital, London, and is less risky than more invasive techniques. It works by inserting several fine wires into a vein in the groin, which are then guided to the heart where they deliver an electric current to parts of the heart muscle. Cardiologists control the robot arm via a computer and joystick, but in the future the system could be automated. Around 50,000 people develop an irregular heartbeat each year, and it is a major cause of strokes and heart attacks.