Taiwanese startup’s brain surgical robot gets cleared in Europe


Brain Navi Biotechnology, a Taiwan-based startup that creates navigation robots, has secured a CE mark for its robotic-assisted surgical robot for brain surgery.


Founded in 2015, Brain Navi mainly designs and develops medical devices that can assist surgeons during medico-surgical interventions.

One of its products, the NaoTrac, is equipped with a high-precision navigation system called Surface Mapping Auto-Registration Technology or SMART. The platform combines machine vision, robotic technology, and algorithms to achieve real-time imaging, precise surgery, and minimally invasive outcomes during surgery. It allows the robotic technology to recognise surgical instruments within seconds and to conduct patient registration through a non-contact machine vision process.


Dr Jerry Chen, CEO of Brain Navi Biotechnology noted that long surgery times, high concentration, and precision in procedures, which all require a clinician’s physical endurance, can affect a neurosurgeon’s performance. This is where NaoTrac comes as it helps cut anaesthesia time and assist in improving a patient’s well-being through providing less invasive interventions.

According to the company’s press statement, the navigation robot serves as an assistant to surgeons while helping them plan for surgery. During pre-operating planning, users can choose a surgery pathway using 3D vision to precisely spot anatomical locations, as well as monitor the robot during the entire procedure. 

Brain Navi mentioned that it is in the process of submitting requirements for a US Food and Drugs Administration clearance. 


Singaporean AI medical device maker NDR Medical Technology, whose AI robotic intervention device has been cleared in Europe, has recently partnered with South Korea-based regenerative medicine firm CGBIO to conduct clinical studies for its ANT-X (automated needle targeting with x-ray) system. The device combines AI and medical imaging to facilitate safe and accurate needle punctures to human organs. 

The British medical technology company Smith+Nephew has recently rolled out in New Zealand, Australia, and India its US FDA-approved robotics platform called the CORI Surgical System. Its product is a handheld robotics device for unicompartmental and total knee arthroplasties. 

Meanwhile, Brain Navi has recently partnered with the Chenggong University of Taiwan for a liver ablation navigation project where its SMART platform is going to be applied for early cancer treatment. 


“Robotics and artificial intelligence are the future of healthcare with remarkable potential to not only advance patient care but increase access to these benefits. It [is] essential to increase the degree of accuracy of surgery,” said Dr Shinn-Zong Lin, superintendent of Hualien Tzu-Chi Medical Center and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He also said that the technology behind the Brain Navi NaoTrac can also “be used in various medical fields, such as immunotherapy, cell transplant, microchip implantation, etc., where a high degree of accuracy is required”. It does not only has the ability to execute tumour resection but also has the “potential to collaborate within these fields,” Dr Lin claimed.



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