Thomas M. Hemmerling, MD, a professor of anesthesia at McGill University and specialist at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), has developed the Kepler Intubation System (KIS), a robotic intubation system operated by remote control. The system was used by Hemmerling to intubate a patient last month at Montreal General Hospital, marking the world’s first robotic intubation in a patient.

“The KIS allows us to operate a robotically mounted video-laryngoscope using a joystick from a remote workstation,” says Hemmerling, who is also a neuroscience researcher at the Research Institute at MUHC. “This robotic system enables the anesthesiologist to insert an endotracheal tube safely into the patient’s trachea with precision.”

Clinical testing of the KIS in patients has now begun, following testing in the airways of medical simulation mannequins, which closely resemble intubation conditions in humans.

“We think that the Kepler Intubation System can assist the anesthesiologist’s arms and hands to perform manual tasks with less force, higher precision and safety. One day, it might actually be the standard practice of airway management,” says Hemmerling.

In 2008, Hemmerling’s laboratory developed the world’s first anesthesia robot, McSleepy™, which provides automated anesthesia delivery.

Source: McGill University Health Centre