Attack Of The Hair Restoration Robot
Robots invaded the operating room years ago, providing surgeons with high precision tools to perform a wide range of procedures from prostatectomies to partial knee replacements. Now, Restoration Robotics is hoping to take over the private practices of hair restoration surgeons. Last year, the venture-backed company launched ARTAS, a robotic system capable of minimally invasive removal of hair follicles used in hair transplants. Restoration Robotics executives see ARTAS as a way to level the playing field between hair restoration surgeons who are capable of performing the sometimes tricky follicular unit extraction and those who want to offer the procedure but don’t have the skills or resources. By conservative estimates, FUE accounts for less than 20% of the $1 billion hair restoration industry. Restoration Robotics sees its robotic system enabling more surgeons to perform FUEs, which could convince more prospective patients to undergo a hair restoration procedure.
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Few people have been so integrally connected to surgery's various revolutions as Fred Moll, MD. Two decades ago Moll introduced one of the first enabling tools designed specifically for minimally invasive surgery, ushering in an age of surgery in closed spaces, before turning his attention in the 1990s to surgery's revolution-in-waiting, robotics, helping to launch the MIS revolution, In a recentinterview, Moll talks about those early days, what it was like for a young surgeon to build his first companies, and about the promise of robotics for the future of medicine.