In recent years, there has been an increased demand for percutaneous procedures in the treatment of a range of diseases and conditions. A percutaneous procedure is designed to reach a target area in the body through a small puncture in the skin rather than through a large incision. This approach is attractive because it is generally less invasive and may result in lower complication risks, shorter recovery times and lower costs compared to more invasive surgical options. But percutaneous procedures also present challenges, especially when used to reach small targets in the body via a small puncture site. In addition, many radiology departments are struggling to keep up with the growing demand for these procedures, which often have to be performed by the most experienced radiologists. In an effort to address these challenges, XACT Robotics® has launched an innovative “hands-free” robotic device that helps radiologists reach small, hard-to-reach areas of interest in the body.
Cleared by the FDA in July 2020, the XACT ACE™ Robotic System has been shown to improve accuracy in reaching areas of interest during CT-guided percutaneous procedures including ablations, biopsies and targeted drug delivery. The system combines image-based planning and monitoring with advanced non-linear steering capabilities to insert and guide an instrument toward a desired target in the body. This eliminates the need for radiologists to manually insert and guide the instrument. Before using the robot to insert the instrument, the radiologist identifies the target, selects an entry point on the patient’s body and plans the trajectory of the instrument using the XACT software application. If the target moves during the procedure, which often happens when an instrument is inserted or when a patient moves or breathes, the robot’s non-linear steering capabilities allow update of the trajectory to reach the target at its new location. This technology increases the chance that a procedure can always be completed on the first attempt rather than having to remove and reinsert an instrument multiple times before reaching the desired target.
A robotic technology such as the XACT ACE™ system offers benefits for both patients and healthcare providers. Patients are often told that it is advisable to wait for a small suspicious lesion in their body to grow larger before it can be properly reached and assessed. This approach can delay the diagnosis of a potentially serious condition. With a robotic system like XACT ACE™, the radiology team may be able to reach small targets in the body earlier, which can potentially lead to faster diagnosis and treatment. For the radiology team, advanced robotic technology can help improve the efficiency of interventional radiology practices and make it easier for them to keep up with demand for percutaneous procedures. The robot’s portability, supported by its compact size and low weight (less than four pounds), allows clinicians to use it in multiple locations without the need to build a specialized, dedicated infrastructure. Most importantly, the XACT ACE™ system offers high levels of accuracy. Results from more than 200 clinical and pre-clinical procedures show that the robot can reach targets in the body with <1.7mm accuracy on average.
Use of advanced robotic technologies to perform percutaneous procedures is an example of the benefits these technologies can provide to patients, clinicians, and healthcare practices, supporting less invasive and more accurate and successful procedures that can lead to better patient outcomes and quality of care.