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Robots Being Used in Hair Transplant Surgery
by April Maguire
Nowadays, it sometimes seems like you can’t turn on the news or surf the Internet without finding stories about machines doing the work of humans. From self-service checkouts at the grocery store to electronic restaurant ordering systems, it seems that machines are everywhere. But in addition to these more basic tasks, robots are also being put to work doing highly skilled, delicate work assisting doctors, and one of the areas where robots are helping the most is with hair transplantation.
Better Than Humans
One robotic device currently being widely used within the medical field is the ARTAS hair transplantation system. This device was developed by a San Jose-based company called Restoration Robots, and was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011. The ARTAS system consists of a computerized robotic arm that is outfitted with various imaging capabilities as well as the latest in hair follicle-removing technology.
During the procedure, the ARTAS system harvests hair from the back of the patient’s scalp. Using image-processing algorithms, the ARTAS system continuously monitors the patient to determine the best extraction angle as it removes the hair. This technique is preferable to the traditional strip surgery method, which requires doctors to manually remove the hair to be grafted and sometimes leaves prominent scarring at the extraction sites.
A Robotic Assistant
Still, as intuitive and helpful as the ARTAS system is, the machine can’t do everything on its own. Before the procedure takes place, a doctor consults with the patient and determines where the harvested hair follicles will be grafted. And after the ARTAS system harvests the follicles, the doctor then personally transplants them using traditional, hand-held techniques. In this way, the ARTAS system is really more of an assistant, handling the heavy lifting in the middle of the procedure, but the expertise of the human doctor is still one of the most vital parts of the transplantation process.
While the ARTAS system has proven effective at helping to transplant hair follicles in men, the technology is yet to be approved to assist with female hair transplantation. So until that happens, women are forced to use more traditional methods to battle hair loss.
Ultimately, doctors using the ARTAS system to help with hair transplants is just one example of robots being integrated into the medical community. As technology continues to improve and doctors become more comfortable making use of robotic assistants, intuitive machines will continue to become a fundamental part of modern medicine.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!