In this episode, our guest was Christoff Heunis, CEO of Flux Robotics. Educated in mechatronic and biomedical engineering, Christoff began his Ph.D. in surgical robotics. He turned his attention to rehabilitation engineering after his friend’s mother had a stroke. Christoff began researching rehabilitation devices that help patients recover by building connections in the brain, similar to how small children learn to sit, walk, and talk. The devices support the patient through this journey anew, returning to an acceptable quality of life.
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Advancing Surgical Robotics with Surgeon Collaboration
The interest in rehabilitative engineering turned into an interest in surgical robotics, and that’s how the Flux One project came about. In discussions with surgeons, Christoff found that most preferred open-body surgery to noninvasive techniques. But for the patient, the second method would be much superior because it greatly reduces the chance of blood loss and potential infections, as well as shortens the recovery period. Not to mention that cosmetically, it avoids unsightly scars.
“You don’t take the surgeons out of the loop; it is that you’re just merely enhancing their skills.”
Redefining Surgery with Magnetic Robotic Innovation
Christoff thought it made sense to create a device that would make no difference if surgeons operated with their hands or medical equipment. This is how the concept of a robotic arm emerged, which has a magnet that moves surgical instruments. A magnet can access the head, heart, and stomach and still avoid a whole operation. At the same time, the surgeon’s hands don’t get tired from work.
To develop such a prototype, the Christoff team analyzed all existing medical technologies involving a magnet – their pros and cons. There is no template to follow from a prototype to a certified product ready to be used in a hospital. It’s always cut and try. When you sit down with a team of specialists and think about how the product should look in two months or a year, very often, the vision changes as you go along. It doesn’t matter how good the product or the idea is; it’s how easy the implementation is.
“Always start at the end and ask yourself just what do we want to do, which is the point.”
The APP Solutions launched a podcast, CareMinds, where you can hear from respected experts in healthcare and Health Tech.
Who is a successful product manager in the healthcare domain? Which skills and qualities are crucial? How important is this role in moving a successful business to new achievements? Responsibilities and KPIs?
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