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Robocath : l’innovation normande au service de la médecine de demain

R-ONE is the innovating robot launched by Robocath, a Rouen start-up created in 2009, founded by radiologist Philippe Bencteux. His idea? To robotise catheterisation and so offer a machine that cardiologists can direct by remote control.

In particular, the robot has the capacity to reproduce human gestures a short distance from the operator, for use in coronary angioplasty. Undertaken by cardiologists, this operation necessitates the introduction of a catheter (or medical tube) in the patient’s veins, which are rendered visible thanks to the ‘lighting’ provided by X-rays. ‘‘Despite wearing a lead apron weighing 10 kilos, cardiologists are the medical professionals most exposed to radiation from the X-rays enabling them to see inside their patients’ bodies,’’ explains Philippe Bencteux. To combat the potentially highly damaging consequences of such exposure, such as cancer, musculoskeletal problems, or a high incidence of cataracts, our radiologist perfected the robot R-ONE, in order for doctors to be able to keep a safe distance from the source of the X-rays and from the operating table. As it’s able to mimic a medic’s gestures, ‘‘the robot is directed by the cardiologist, but a few metres from the patient, thanks to joysticks, and behind a lead-lined screen providing full protection.’’ The operation becomes simpler, easier and safer, benefiting the doctor’s concentration. 

Robocath in brief :

    • Rouen start-up founded in 2009, employing 26 staff. Linked to Normandy’s Medical Training Center (MTC), it has created R-ONE, a robot that’s unique in the world, operated remotely by cardiologists from a control station, using joysticks that can very closely mimic the movements of the human hand. This innovative technology is revolutionising medical practice and is proving of interest to cardiologists from around the world.


    • It helps protect medics from X-rays and cut down on physical tiredness.


  • Catheterisation is a medical actthat consists in introducing a medical device – the catheter – into the hollow tubular aperture of an organ. This operation necessitates the use of X-rays that can have serious consequences on doctors’ bodies.

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