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It’s no secret, advancements in robotic surgery and AI are offering more options and benefits for patients and surgeons than ever before. Sanjay Krishnan, a Computer Science PhD student, is part of the Berkeley AI research group at UC Berkeley where they do a great deal of exploration using AI to improve robot manipulation in surgery and home robotics.

Currently Krishnan is currently focused on surgical robotics specifically. He is working with surgeons to see what can be learned from their output data. Are they efficient or are they making mistakes? Are they taking too much time and energy to complete procedures? The researchers are then using that information as material for robotics surgery training for the future.

In this thought-provoking interview, Krishnan discusses the benefits and limitations or challenges in the field of surgical robotics. He also introduces us to the Intuitive Surgical da Vinci System which is being used in over 500,000 procedures worldwide. The robot has many clinical benefits such as reduced hospital stays and reduces the chance of infection. However, Krishnan explains, there are still challenges with the use of its hardware.

The da Vinci model has no autonomy of its own. This machine is 100 percent controlled by the surgeon who is sitting at a sort of video game console. It can be difficult for surgeons to use the machines and it takes time for them to become proficient in doing the procedures. This is where Krishnan and other researches see artificial intelligence coming into play with machine learning; teaching the machines to become more autonomous.

Join us as we sit down with Sanjay Krishnan to discuss the advancements in these developing studies and how combining robotics and AI will take surgery to the next level.

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