Robots to take on human surgeons in UHCW NHS Trust trial - The Coventry Observer

19th Aug, 2022

Robots to take on human surgeons in UHCW NHS Trust trial

Ryan Smith 16th Jul, 2022

ROBOTS will be trialled for hip replacement surgery for the first time as the machines are pitted against their human counterparts in a new study.

The RACER-Hip Study is a world first and has received £1million in funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR.)

The study will be run by Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust, and the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH).

The test aims to determine whether better hip surgery outcomes can be achieved by using robots.

This will give new insight into the value of robot-assisted surgery in the NHS alongside the RACER-Knee study, which was announced last year and attempts to answer the same questions about robotic knee surgery.

Hip replacement surgery is one of the NHS’s most commonly practised operations.

Robotic systems are being introduced into the NHS but there is currently very little evidence to show whether these give better results than traditional surgery.

The study is being led by Peter Wall, from ROH and the University of Warwick Clinical Trials Unit.

He will conduct the research with the ROH Professor Ed Davis.

Equal numbers of participants will be randomly put into treatment groups to find out which technique performs better.

This will involve asking questions about their ability to complete tasks and their long-term quality of life.

Mr Wall said: “The RACER-Hip study is a significant investment by the NHS to examine the effectiveness of robotic hip replacement surgery.”

“Robotic technology has the potential to revolutionise hip replacement surgery, however, the first step to this is understanding whether it can help enhance the care surgeons provide.”

Professor Davis added: “The research will help orthopaedic surgeons across the world to better understand the most effective tools for performing hip replacement surgery and ensure the very best outcomes for their patients.

“This study will also include an in-depth health economic analysis to inform the NHS if this technology should be widely adopted.”

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