Space-age surgery for little patients

Space-age surgery for little patients

Toronto’s SickKids Hospital works with industry to develop the world’s first robot designed to operate on children
March 26, 2013

More than 290,000 surgeries were performed on children under the age of 10 in Canada in 2009-2010, according to the most recent available data. The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto is collaborating with B.C.-based aerospace company MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), to develop the KidsArm, the first robotic surgical system in the world designed for the delicate task of operating on small children and babies. In March 2011, MDA signed a $4.7-million contract with SickKids to work on the image-guided robot that will help surgeons perform less invasive surgery and reduce the average time of some procedures, such as suturing, by 90 percent.

Funded in part by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the KidsArm project is expected to create more than 80 highly skilled research, engineering and manufacturing jobs at SickKids and partner companies. Not to mention opportunities for exporting the cutting-edge technology to hospitals around the world.