Invented by Samuel Kwok Wai Au, Intuitive Surgical Operations Inc

The market for systems and methods for medical instrument force sensing has witnessed significant growth in recent years. This can be attributed to the increasing demand for advanced medical devices that provide accurate and real-time force feedback during surgical procedures. Force sensing technology has revolutionized the field of medical instrumentation by enhancing precision, safety, and efficiency in various medical procedures. Force sensing systems and methods are designed to measure the force exerted by medical instruments, such as surgical tools, catheters, and endoscopes, during different medical interventions. These systems utilize various sensing technologies, including strain gauges, piezoelectric sensors, and capacitive sensors, to accurately measure the force applied by the instruments. The collected force data is then processed and displayed to the surgeon, enabling them to make informed decisions and perform procedures with greater control. One of the key factors driving the market for force sensing systems and methods in medical instrumentation is the increasing adoption of minimally invasive surgeries. Minimally invasive procedures, such as laparoscopy and robotic-assisted surgeries, require precise force control due to the limited visibility and restricted movement of instruments. Force sensing technology enables surgeons to monitor and control the amount of force applied to tissues, reducing the risk of tissue damage and improving patient outcomes. Furthermore, the growing geriatric population and the rising prevalence of chronic diseases have led to an increased number of surgical interventions. This has created a demand for advanced medical instruments that can provide accurate force feedback to ensure optimal surgical outcomes. Force sensing systems and methods play a crucial role in enhancing the safety and efficacy of surgical procedures, thereby driving their adoption in the medical field. Additionally, technological advancements in force sensing technology have contributed to the market growth. Manufacturers are constantly developing innovative force sensing systems and methods that offer higher accuracy, sensitivity, and reliability. For instance, some systems now incorporate wireless connectivity and real-time data transmission, allowing surgeons to monitor force measurements remotely and collaborate with other healthcare professionals. However, the market for systems and methods for medical instrument force sensing is not without challenges. The high cost associated with implementing force sensing technology in medical instruments can act as a barrier to adoption, particularly in developing regions. Moreover, the complexity of integrating force sensing systems into existing medical devices may pose technical challenges for manufacturers. Despite these challenges, the market for systems and methods for medical instrument force sensing is expected to witness substantial growth in the coming years. The increasing demand for minimally invasive surgeries, coupled with advancements in force sensing technology, will continue to drive the adoption of these systems. Furthermore, the rising focus on patient safety and the need for improved surgical outcomes will further fuel the market growth. In conclusion, the market for systems and methods for medical instrument force sensing is experiencing significant growth due to the increasing demand for advanced medical devices and the rising adoption of minimally invasive surgeries. Technological advancements and the focus on patient safety are driving the development and adoption of innovative force sensing systems and methods. Despite challenges, the market is poised for further expansion in the future, offering immense opportunities for manufacturers and healthcare professionals alike.

The Intuitive Surgical Operations Inc invention works as follows

A medical device comprising at least one elongated actuator used to move a portion of a medical tool, a motor connected to the medical tool and used to operate at least one long actuation, and a controller in communication with both the motor and the medical apparatus. The control system receives at least one output from the medical device and uses the input to determine the force at a tip by applying it to a lumped-model of the instrument. The lumped-model comprises a mass for the motor, and a spring parameter that couples the mass of motor with a portion of the instrument.

Background for Systems and Methods for Medical Instrument Force Sensing

Minimally-invasive medical techniques aim to reduce the amount tissue damaged during medical procedures. This will help patients recover faster, feel less discomfort and have fewer harmful side effects. These minimally invasive procedures can be performed by using natural orifices within the anatomy of a patient or one or more surgical cuts. The clinicians can insert medical instruments through natural orifices and incisions, to reach the target tissue. Medical instruments include therapeutic instruments, surgical instruments, and diagnostic instruments. A minimally invasive tool can navigate through natural or surgically-created passageways to reach the target tissues. These may be in the kidneys or lungs or other anatomical structures such as the intestines or colon.

Instrument position monitoring may be used in minimally invasive procedures to ensure access and proper behavior to the target tissue. In some minimally invasive procedures, the instrument can navigate through anatomical passageways that have been created surgically or naturally. A minimally invasive instrument can navigate natural passageways, for example, in the lungs or colon. It may also be used to reach the kidneys, heart, circulatory system or other organs. Some minimally-invasive medical devices may be computer-assisted or teleoperated.

Accurate models of medical instruments are helpful in the design and stability analysis as well as the real-time control systems. Instrument modeling is often based on continuous numerical modeling methods such as finite-element analysis (FEA). These techniques can be computationally expensive, and they require a lot of parameter tuning and fitting. It is not always possible to use these systems for real-time modeling or tissue interaction forces at instrument tips for control and monitor applications due to their computational complexity. “Improved systems and methods for predicting interaction forces between the tip of the instrument and the surrounding tissues are required for control, safety, and monitoring applications.

The following claims summarize the embodiments of this invention.

In one embodiment, the method of determining the force on the tip of an instrument comprises receiving inputs from the medical instrument that has at least one elongated actuator used to manipulate the position of the device while it is in the patient’s body. The inputs are then applied to a lumped-model of the tool, and the force is determined based on the inputs as well as the lumped-model.

The system is further to receive an input indicating a position of the tip of the instrument. It will then apply the inputs to a model of the instrument and use the inputs with the model to determine a force placed on a tip of instrument from the patient’s tissue. The system will also receive an input that indicates a position of a tip on the medical device, apply these inputs to a medical model, and then use them with the model to calculate a force applied to the tip by a patient’s tissues.

In another embodiment, the system comprises a medical device that includes a catheter with a distal tip, a motor with a rotating component, and a cable wrapped about the rotating element and extending through the medical tool and configured to control the position of the catheter tip. The system also includes a control unit that is configured to receive inputs indicating the position of a motor, an input of a force applied to the motor, an input of a position for the catheter tip, and determine in real-time a force exerted on the tip of the catheter based on these inputs.


The following detailed description is best read in conjunction with the accompanying figures. In accordance with industry standard, certain features are not shown to scale. The dimensions of various features can be increased or decreased arbitrarily to make the discussion more clear. The present disclosure can also repeat letters and/or numbers in the examples. This repetition is done for simplicity and clarity, and does not imply a relationship among the various embodiments or configurations discussed.








To promote an understanding of principles of this disclosure, we will refer to the embodiments shown in the drawings and use specific language to describe them. Nevertheless, it will be understood that the disclosure does not intend to limit its scope. To provide a comprehensive understanding of the disclosed embodiments, many specific details will be provided in the detailed description of aspects of the invention. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art, however, that embodiments of the disclosure can be implemented without these specific details. “In other cases, well-known methods, procedures and components have not been described to avoid obscuring aspects of the embodiments.

Any further modifications and alterations to the described instruments, methods and devices are fully envisaged, as they would be to a person skilled in the field to which this disclosure is related. It is also fully envisaged that features, components and/or methods described in one embodiment can be combined with features, components and/or methods described in other embodiments. Dimensions are provided as examples only. It is possible to use different sizes, ratios, or dimensions in order to implement concepts from the present disclosure. In order to avoid unnecessary repetition of description, components or actions described according to one illustrative example can be used in other illustrative examples or omitted. To save time, we will not describe the many iterations of the combinations separately. In some cases, the same reference number is used in the drawings for the same or similar parts.

The embodiments described below describe instruments and instruments’ parts in terms of the state of their three-dimensional space. The term “position” is used in this document. Refers to a location or a part of an item in a three-dimensional environment (e.g. three degrees of freedom of translation along Cartesian XYZ coordinates). The term “orientation” is used in this context. Refers to rotational placement of a part of an item or an object. The term “pose” is used in this context. Refers to an object’s position or a part of an object’s position in atleast one degree translational freedom, and the orientation of this object or that portion in atleast one degree rotational freedom. The term “shape” is used in this context. Refers to a series of poses, orientations, or positions measured along an object.

Referring to FIG. In Figure 1, a teleoperational system that can be used in medical procedures such as diagnostic, therapeutic or surgical procedures is indicated by 100. The teleoperational systems described in this disclosure will be under the control of a physician. In other embodiments, the teleoperational system can be partially controlled by a computer that is programmed to perform a procedure or sub-procedure. In other embodiments, an automated medical system under the control of a computer programed to perform a procedure or subprocedure may be used.

As shown in FIG. As shown in FIG. The medical instrument system is operably connected to the teleoperational assemblies 102. A surgeon or another type of clinician can control the medical instrument system by using an operator input system.

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