Computer Vision based Decision Support in Surgical Robotics

Increasingly surgical interventions across the world are being performed using robots that have reduced the recovery time for patients while simultaneously assisting surgeons with repetitive task automation, enabling access to hard-to-reach areas and providing real time feedback resulting in reduced operating times and cognitive workload. The primary mode of robotic surgical intervention is via tele-operated surgical devices wherein the operating surgeon tele-operates surgical tools by using visual feedback from endoscopic cameras.

This generation of medical Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) has revealed numerous previously unanticipated safety and reliability challenges apart from the safety concerns present in tele-operated devices. The sensory deprivation resulting from physical separation between the surgeon and the patient has created complications such as lack of force feedback and limited field of view. This paper seeks to survey the use of computer-vision research in robotic-surgeries which directly results in enhancement of safety and decision support in surgical work-flow.