Moon Surgical (formerly MastOR), is a medtech startup based in France. The company has developed the Maestro laparoscopy assistance platform, a two-armed robotic surgical assistant that can hold and manipulate standard laparoscopic instruments. The device is intended to be used at the bedside and provides the surgeon with greater flexibility and control, without the complexity and expense of some other surgical robots.
Medgadget spoke with Anne Osdoit, CEO, in July 2020, at which stage the company had just announced that they had attracted substantial funding to develop the technology. In the interim, Moon Surgical has done just that, and the system now enjoys greater freedom of movement and upgraded software and controls.
See a video about the technology:
In this follow-up interview, Medgadget caught up with Anne to see how the technology was progressing.
Conn Hastings, Medgadget: Nice to speak with you again. Please refresh our memories and give us an overview of the Maestro surgical platform, and how it works.
Anne Osdoit, Moon Surgical: The Maestro platform is a robotized surgical assistant which provides the surgeon with two additional arms, providing a higher level of safety and reliability. It is placed at the bedside, opposite the surgeon, and can be clearly and easily manipulated by the physician. The platform works with any off the shelf laparoscopic instrument, thanks to our proprietary magnetic coupling technology.
Medgadget: Has the system changed much since we last spoke?
Anne Osdoit: It has changed quite a lot since we last spoke. The global architecture is still the same: there are two arms holding instruments. However, the arms have since gained two levels of freedom, and they are now mounted on a robotized compact platform which is independent from the other, allowing for z- and y- axis translations. We have also significantly evolved and improved the controls and software in order for the system to be used in as seamless and instinctive a way as possible for surgeons.
Medgadget: How much of the system is automated/controlled by robotics and how much is controlled by the surgeon? How do the robotic components complement the surgeon’s efforts?
Anne Osdoit: Our system is a co-manipulation robotics platform and provides the surgeon with a stable retraction and camera holding. The surgeon always remains in control of the arms and can position them in any way needed. The surgeon is simply assisted in the holding of the two extra instruments, whilst being able to operate with their own instruments.
Medgadget: Has the design been finalized? What are the next steps for the technology in terms of testing and clinical adoption?
Anne Osdoit: We have reached a design freeze for our first-in-human system in October 2021, and are currently initiating our work on our first commercial product. In terms of clinical adoption, we have conducted over 25 cadaver labs to assess the usability with naïve surgeons and use their valuable feedback to improve our system. We plan on getting into the clinic in the spring of 2022, in the framework of a clinical study.
Medgadget: Congratulations on your partnership to develop AI systems to enhance surgical procedures with the Maestro. What role will AI play in the future of your technology, and how can it help the surgeon?
Anne Osdoit: We are currently working on an intraoperative camera tracking software which would enable the camera arm to automatically follow the instruments manipulated by the surgeon. Additionally, an embedded room-sensing (equivalent of a high resolution “surveillance”) camera tracks the movements of the surgeon and the operating room environment in order to be able to eventually automatically position the arms in their optimal configuration before the procedure begins.
Medgadget: Do you have any other plans to expand the system or other surgical technologies in the pipeline? Where do you see the company in 10 years?
Anne Osdoit: We are planning to have other versions of the system with additional automation and more than two arms once our first commercial product is commercialized. In 10 years, we aspire Maestro to be an essential element of every operating room where general surgery is performed across multiple continents, and Moon to be a major player in the medtech and robotics industry!
Link: Moon Surgical homepage…