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UK medical robotics expanded to Caribbean market

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Clinicians and tech experts from the UK are helping to make surgery safer and more affordable in the Caribbean, using the latest medical robotics.

Imperial Medical Solutions (IMS), of Hartlepool, North East England, has introduced its FreeHand robotic system for minimally invasive surgery across hospitals in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.

Surgeons carrying out operations often rely on live high-definition video feeds showing their work in close-up.

The FreeHand Collaborative Robot, or Cobot, is mounted on the surgeon’s head, allowing them to target and focus the field of view precisely where they need it using small movements.

This not only improves maneuverability and accuracy, but also eliminates the need for an additional medic to be present to hold and direct the camera.

This in turn helps speed up surgical and recovery time, cutting waiting times and hospital stays, enhancing the overall patient experience and easing pressures on staff.

The FreeHand Cobot has been used in 15,000+ keyhole surgical procedures across the world in general surgery, gynaecology, urology and thoracic surgery.

Following its successful introduction in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, IMS is now looking to expand FreeHand to hospitals in South East Asia, starting in Malaysia and then Indonesia.

Professor Tan Arulampalam, world-renowned laparoscopic surgeon, pioneer of surgical innovation and IMS CEO, said: “This opportunity goes beyond robots. It will open the door to further digital transformation in hospitals in the Caribbean and act as a ‘playbook’ for other emerging economies.

“Thanks to DIT’s support and the incredible power of technology, we are democratising good quality healthcare, improving surgical success rates and ensuring patients in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago can lead better lives.”

The firm took advantage of the Department for International Trade’s support and advice service, Great.gov.uk. DIT helped the company through the exporting process, from initial business pitch to setting up meetings with High Commissioners in the region and streamlining its approach to ensure its offer was clear and well-defined.

Minister for Exports Mike Freer MP said: “The UK is a world leader in medical technology and the sector is growing fast, exporting £5.7bn worth of goods and services in 2020.

“With DIT’s support, IMS is not just saving lives but also creating quality jobs both in the UK and overseas. Export wins like this show our trade strategy is working as we use our strengths to seize opportunities in the markets of the future.”

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