Prototype: Robotic Intubation in Difficult Situations

08/09/2013
Photo: Students

Students designed a self-guided robotic intubation device that crawls to the lungs in difficult situations;
© Hebrew University

Students of the Hebrew University’s Biodesign program revealed a robotic intubation device that automatically identifies the lungs using an infrared source and navigates toward it.

The device was successfully tested on cadavers at Hadassah Medical Center, and clinical trials will begin as soon as next year. “I strongly believe that GuideIn Tube represents the future of intubation,” said Dr. Elchanan Fried, the group’s clinical expert.

Intubation is the placement of a plastic tube into the lungs that allows anesthetized or critically ill patients to breathe. The current procedure requires the physician to see the trachea and choose between two very similar holes, one leading to the lungs, the other to the stomach. Failure to identify the correct hole can lead to patient death. Worse, intubation sometimes has to be carried out in the field, during military operations, or on patients that have blood or liquids obstructing the way.

“We really thought about the paramedic in the field,” said Itai Hayut, the leading engineering student on the project. “We wanted something simple and compact that they could trust without fail. I think we hit it on all marks.”

COMPAMED.de; Source: Hebrew University of Jerusalem